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Ciencia del suelo

versión On-line ISSN 1850-2067


CHAGAS, Celio I et al. Runoff curve number for a Rolling Pampa watershed under conventional and no-tillage. Cienc. suelo [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.1, pp. 63-69. ISSN 1850-2067.

The aim of this paper was to study the applicability of the Curve Number method (CN, USDA) for a small arable watershed of 300 ha belonging to the Rolling Pampa under conventional tillage from 1994 to 1998 and subsequently under no tillage until 2004. This analysis was performed by studying rainfall and runoff paired data recorded in situ. Land use consisted mainly of annual crops, particularly soybean. Considering a data pool of 583 rainfall events, only 11% produced appreciable surface runoff. Most of the runoff occurred under antecedent moisture condition I (AMC I). This condition was defined according to the amount of rainfall corresponding to the previous 5 days, thereby opening a critical argumentation for the use of this methodology in the Rolling Pampa. The analysis of the ordered paired data series showed similar CN values under no-tillage and conventional tillage for AMC II (CN 82) and AMC III (CN 96), respectively. However, considering the AMC I condition which corresponds to the lower 10% of the ordered paired data series, the watershed under conventional tillage showed a tendency to produce lower runoff volumes compared to the same catchment area under no-tillage (CN 56 and 68, respectively). This was particularly appreciable for the autumn and winter periods, in which primary tillage operations under conventional tillage produced surface roughness resulting in high infiltration rates.

Palabras clave : Watershed; Conventional tillage; No-tillage; Runoff.

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