GIS-based Approach to Estimate Surface Runoff in Small Catchments: A Case Study

Open access


The issue of surface runoff assessment is one of the important and relevant topics of hydrological as well as geographical research. The aim of the paper is therefore to estimate and assess surface runoff on the example of Vyčoma catchment which is located in the Western Slovakia. For this purpose, SCS runoff curve number method, modeling in GIS and remote sensing were used. An important task was the creation of a digital elevation model (DEM), which enters the surface runoff modeling and affects its accuracy. Great attention was paid to the spatial interpretation of land use categories applying aerial imagery from 2013 and hydrological soil groups as well as calculation of maximum daily rainfall with N-year return periods as partial tasks in estimating surface runoff. From the methodological point of view, the importance of the paper can be seen in the use of a simple GIS-based approach to assess the surface runoff conditions in a small catchment.

Adornado H.A., Yoshida M., 2010. GIS-based watershed analysis and surface run-off estimation using curve number (CN) value. Journal of Environmental Hydrology 18: 1–10.

Agarwal R., Garg P.K., Garg R.D., 2013. Remote Sensing and GIS Based Approach for Identification of Artificial Recharge Sites. Water Resources Management 27: 2671–2689.

Chow V.T., 1964. Handbook of Applied Hydrology. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Chow V.T., Maidment D.R., Mays L.W., 1988. A text book of applied hydrology. Tata McGraw Hill publications, New Delhi.

Costache R., Fontanine I., Corodescu E., 2014. Assessment of surface runoff depth changes in Sărătel River basin, Romania using GIS techniques. Central European Journal of Geosciences 6: 363–372.

Cronshey R., McCuen R.H., Miller N., Rawls W., Robbins S., Woodward D., 1986. Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds (TR-55). Natural Resources Conservation Service, Washington

Desmet P.J.J., 1997. Effects of Interpolation Errors on the Analysis of DEMs. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 22: 563–580.

Dubcová A., Lauko V., Tolmáči L., Cimra J., Kramáreková H., Krogmann A., Nemčíková M., Némethová J., Oremusová D., Gurňák D., Križan F., 2008. Geografia Slovenska (Geography of Slovakia). Univerzita Konštantína Filozofa v Nitre, Nitra.

Hengl T., 2006. Finding the right pixel. Computers & Geosciences 32: 1283–1298.

Hjelmfelt A.T. Jr., 1991. Investigation of curve number procedure. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (ASCE) 117: 725–737.

Holman I.P., Hollis J.M., Bramley M.E., Thompson T.R.E., 2003. The contribution of soil structural degradation to catchment flooding: a preliminary investigation of the 2000 floods in England and Wales. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 7: 755–766.

Hutchinson M.F., 1988. Calculation of hydrologically sound digital elevation models. In: Third International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling. International Geographical Union, Sydney: 117–133.

Ivanička J., Polák M., Hók J., Határ J., Greguš J., Vozár J., Nagy A., Fordinál K., Pristaš J., Konečný V., Šimon L., 1998. Geologická mapa Tribeča 1 : 50 000 (Geological map of Tribeč 1 : 50 000). Geologická služba SR, Bratislava.

Lapin M., Faško P., Melo M., Šťastný P., Tomlain J., 2002. Klimatické oblasti 1 : 1 000 000. Atlas krajiny Slovenskej republiky (Climate areas 1 : 1 000 000. Landscape Atlas of the Slovak Republic). MŽP SR, Bratislava, SAŽP, Banská Bystrica.

Makeľ M., Turbek J., Podolinská J., Škoda P., 2003. Stanovenie N-ročných prietokov a N-ročných prietokových vĺn na väčších tokoch (Odvetvová technická norma MŽP SR 3112-1:03) (Determination of N-year discharges and N-year discharge waves at greater watercourses (Technical standard of the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic 3112–1:03)).

McCuen R.H., 1982. A Guide to Hydrologic Analysis Using SCS Methods. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.

Mishra S.K., Singh V.P., 2003. Soil Conservation Service Curve Number (SCS-CN) Methodology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dodrecht.

Mishra S.K., Singh V.P., 2004. Long-term hydrological simulation based on the soil conservation service curve number. Hydrological Processes 18: 1291–1313.

Mitková V., Kohnová S., Pekárová P., 2004. Porovnanie odhadov maximálnych sezónnych prietokov v profile Dunaj – Bratislava (Comparison of the estimates of seasonal maximum discharges on Danube River in Bratislava). Acta Hydrologica Slovaca 5: 34–41.

Moretti G., Montanari A., 2008. Inferring the flood frequency distribution for an ungauged basin using a spatially distributed rainfall-runoff model. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 12: 1141–1152.

Munteanu C., Kuemmerle T., Boltižiar M., Butsic V., Gimmi U., Halada L., Kaim D., Király G., Konkoly-Gyuró É., Kozak J., Lieskovský J., Mojses M., Müller D., Ostafin K., Ostapowicz K., Shandra O., Štych P., Walker S., Radeloff V.C., 2014. Forest and agricultural land change in the Carpathian region-A meta-analysis of long-term patterns and drivers of change. Land Use Policy 38: 685–697.

Nagarajan M., Basil G., 2014. Remote sensing- and GIS-based runoff modeling with the effect of land-use changes (a case study of Cochin corporation). Natural Hazards 73: 2023–2039.

Oláhová J., Vojtek M., Boltižiar M., 2013. Application of Geoinformation Technologies for the Assessment of Landscape Structure Using Landscape-Ecological Indexes (Case Study of the Handlová Landslide). Tájökológiai Lapok 11: 351–366.

Patil J.P., Sarangi A., Singh O.P., Singh A.K., Ahmad T., 2008. Development of a GIS Interface for Estimation of Runoff from Watersheds. Water Resources Management 22: 1221–1239.

Romero P., Castro G., Gomez J.A., Fereres E., 2007. Curve number values for olive orchards under different soil management. Soil Science Society of America Journal 71: 1758–1769.

Schäuble H., 2003. HydroTools 1.0 for ArcView 3.x (; accessed: 12 August 2016).

Solín Ľ., 2005. Povodne – odhad ich veľkosti pre malé povodia Slovenska metódou regionálnej frekvenčnej analýzy (Floods: size estimates for small basins of Slovakia by the method of regional frequency analysis). Geografický časopis 57: 287–307.

Soulis K.X., Dercas N., 2007. Development of a GIS-based spatially distributed continuous hydrological model and its first application. Water International 32: 177–192.

Soulis K.X., Valiantzas J.D., 2011. SCS-CN parameter determination using rainfall-runoff data in heterogeneous watersheds. The two-CN system approach. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions 8: 8963–9004.

Šúri M., Cebecauer T., Hofierka J., 2003. Digitálne modely reliéfu a ich aplikácie v životnom prostredí (Digital terrain models and their environmental applications). Životné prostredie 37: 30–35.

Tedela N.H., McCutcheon S.C., Rasmussen T.C., Hawkins R.H., Swank W.T., Campbell J.L., Adams M.B., Jackson R., Tollner E.W., 2012. Runoff Curve Numbers for 10 Small Forested Watersheds in the Mountains of the Eastern United States. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering (ASCE) 17: 1188–1198.

US Army Corps of Engineers, 2002. HEC-GeoHMS 10 for ArcGIS 10.0. Hydrologic Engineering Center, Davis, California.

Vojtek M., 2014. Estimation of N-Year Maximum Discharges for the Vyčoma Stream (Hájovňa Slače Profile). In: Scientia iuvenis: Book of Scientific Papers. CPU, Nitra: 279–288.

Yu B., 1998. Theoretical justification of SCS-CN method for runoff estimation. Journal of Irrigation Drainage Division (ASCE) 124: 306–310.

Wilcox B.P., Rawls W.J., Brakensiek D.L., Wight J.R., 1990. Predicting runoff from rangeland catchments: A comparison of two models. Water Resources Research 26: 2401–2410.

Zhan X.Y., Huang M.L., 2004. ArcCN-Runoff: An ArcGIS tool for generating curve number and runoff maps. Environmental Modelling & Software 19: 875–879.

Quaestiones Geographicae

The Journal of Adam Mickiewicz University

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.185
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.545


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 133 133 24
PDF Downloads 124 124 26