The curve number (CN) method is a common technique to estimate runoff volume, and it is widely used in coal mining operations such as those in the Appalachian region of Kentucky. However, very little CN data are available for watersheds disturbed by surface mining and then reclaimed using traditional techniques. Furthermore, as the CN method does not readily account for variations in infiltration rates due to varying rainfall distributions, the selection of a single CN value to encompass all temporal rainfall distributions could lead engineers to substantially under- or over-size water detention structures used in mining operations or other land uses such as development. Using rainfall and runoff data from a surface coal mine located in the Cumberland Plateau of eastern Kentucky, CNs were computed for conventionally reclaimed lands. The effects of temporal rainfall distributions on CNs was also examined by classifying storms as intense, steady, multi-interval intense, or multi-interval steady. Results indicate that CNs for such reclaimed lands ranged from 62 to 94 with a mean value of 85. Temporal rainfall distributions were also shown to significantly affect CN values with intense storms having significantly higher CNs than multi-interval storms. These results indicate that a period of recovery is present between rainfall bursts of a multi-interval storm that allows depressional storage and infiltration rates to rebound. ?? 2010 American Water Resources Association.
Additional Publication Details
Reclaimed mineland curve number response to temporal distribution of rainfall
Journal of the American Water Resources Association