An empirical model of sediment deposition processes in Lake Kerkini, Central Macedonia Greece
The deposition processes in Kerkini Reservoir, since 1933, are examined in this paper. Built on the course of River Strymonas at the plain of Serres for anti-flooding control, it was gradually developed as a multipurpose reservoir for irrigation and a very important international wetland protected by the Ramsar Treaty. The deposition into Lake Kerkini is caused by the high rates of sediment transport by River Strymonas from the Bulgarian, Serbian and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia territory drainage basin of Kerkini of 11,600 km(2). The life expectancy of the original reservoir was approximately 40 years. The sediment transport and the deposition volumes and rates were high during the first stages of Kerkini operation due to deforestations and stockbreeding activities against forested and agricultural areas in southwestern Bulgaria before World War II, which intensify erosion and deposition phenomena in Kerkini's catchment. They were gradually reduced due to the anti-erosion hydraulic works, extended reforestations mainly in the period 1962-1977, and the natural processes of Strymonas-Kerkini hydrosystem to attain its equilibrium. Based on six systematic bottom surveys of the reservoir from 1933 to 1991, two empirical formulas of the total deposition volume (I V pound (s)) and the deposition rates (Delta I V pound (s)/Delta I t) pound through time (I t) pound were developed. The results have been compared with other catchments of the broader Balkan area concerning the erosion, sediment yield, sediment deposition volumes, and rates, and it was found in accordance with the measured data. The obtained empirical model was used to estimate the life expectancy of the new rebuilt reservoir of Kerkini in 1984; in the case of natural processes, these do not change dramatically in the transboundary Lake Kerkini catchment. The deposition processes of Kerkini were the major causes of its development into an internationally important wetland and biotope. Kerkini offers development opportunities for scientific research, environmental education, ecotourism, and recreation activities.