Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 164, Issue 1–4, pp 573–592 | Cite as

An empirical model of sediment deposition processes in Lake Kerkini, Central Macedonia Greece

  • Aris Psilovikos
  • Sofia Margoni


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 km2. 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 (ΣV s) and the deposition rates (ΔΣV s/ΔΣt) through time (Σt) 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.


Lake Kerkini River Strymonas Sediment deposition processes Empirical model Bottom survey Environmental management Wetlands Deposition volume and rate Sediment yield Central Macedonia Greece 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albanakis, K. Psilovikos, A, & Papafilippou-Pennou, E. (1993). Evolution of the deltaic sedimentation in the artificial Lake Kerkini since its construction. In Proceedings of the 4th pan-hellenic symposium of oceanography and fishery 1993 (Vol. 1, pp. 276–279). Rhodes, Greece (in Greek).Google Scholar
  2. Albanakis, K., Sklavounos, S., & Psilovikos, A. (1992). Preliminary examination of the distribution and the quality of suspended sediments in the hydrologic system of River Strymonas and Lake Kerkini. Bulletin of Geological Society of Greece, XXVIII(1), 625–634 (in Greek).Google Scholar
  3. Albanakis, K., Vouvalidis, K., Komata, P., Spanou, S., & Psilovikos, A. (2004). Morphological mapping of the bottom of Mesologgi Lagoon with the use of astronaut photography and G.I.S. Bulletin of Geological Society of Greece, XXXVI, 950–957 (in Greek).Google Scholar
  4. Altigos, N. (1962). Preliminary study of Serres plain. Hydrology (p. 108). Technical report, Ministry of Public Works, Athens (in Greek).Google Scholar
  5. Annandale, G. (1984). Predicting the distribution of deposited sediment in southern African reservoirs. In Proceedings of the symposium challenges in African hydrology and water resources (Vol. 44, pp. 549–558). Harare, S. Africa: IAHS Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Annandale, G. (1987). Reservoir sedimentation. Developments in water science (Vol. 29). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  7. Annandale, G. (2005). Reservoir sedimentation. In M. Anderson, & J. McDonnell (Eds.), Encyclopedia of hydrological sciences. NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Borland, W., & Miller, C. (1958). Distribution of sediment in large reservoirs. Journal of Hydraulic Division ASCE, Report no 84.Google Scholar
  9. Brune, G. (1953). Trap efficiency of reservoirs. Transactions—American Geophysical Union, 34, 3.Google Scholar
  10. Chang, H. (1982). Fluvial hydraulics of deltas and alluvial fans. Journal of Hydraulic Division, ASCE, 108(HY11), 1282–1295.Google Scholar
  11. Chao, X., Jia, Y., Douglas Shields Jr, F., Wang, S., & Cooper, C. (2008). Three-dimensional numerical modeling of cohesive sediment transport and wind wave impact in a shallow oxbow lake. Advances in Water Resources, 31, 1004–1014. doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2008.04.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Daoulas, E. (1989). Revision study of the water balance in Lake Kerkini (p. 57). Technical report, Ministry of the Environment, Planning and Public Works (D7), Athens (in Greek).Google Scholar
  13. Deyi, W., & Fan, J. (1991). Method of preserving reservoir capacity. In Lecture notes of regional training course on reservoir sedimentation and control. Central Water Commission, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  14. Evmorphopoulos, L. (1961). The fluctuations of the gulf of Thessaloniki (Vol. 205–208). Technika Chronika, Athens (in Greek).Google Scholar
  15. Gergov, G., Blaskova, S., Papazov, R., & Hhristov, M. (1991). Grain size characteristics of river sediments in Bulgaria. Bulgarian academy of sciences (p. 90). Sofia, Bulgaria.Google Scholar
  16. Halkidis, I., Papadimos, D., & Mertzianis, C. (2004). Strymonas basin integrated surface water & groundwater model. Phase I, input data and model set up. Greek biotope/wetland centre (EKBY) (p. 56). Thermi, Greece.Google Scholar
  17. Hrissanthou, V. (2003). Estimate of sedimentation in Yermasoyia reservoir, Cyprus. In Proceedings of the XXX IAHR congress (pp. 437–443). Thessaloniki, Greece, C.Google Scholar
  18. Hrissanthou, V., & Kalpaktsidou, D. (2003). Erosion and sediment transport in the basin of the Yermasoyia reservoir, Cyprus. In Proceedings of the international conference on hydrology of the mediterranean and semi-arid regions (Vol. 278, pp. 353–358). Monpellier, France: IAHS Publications.Google Scholar
  19. Jain, S., & Singh, V. (2003). Water resources systems planning and management. Developments in Water Science (Vol. 51). NY: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  20. Jovanovic, S., & Vukcevic, M. (1957). Suspended sediment regimes on some watercources in Yugoslavia and analysis of erosion processes (Vol. 43, pp. 337–359). Washington, DC: IAHS Publication.Google Scholar
  21. Kladouri, E., Hrissanthou, V., & Giovanoudis, C. (2003). Application of a mathematical model for the computation of delta to thesaurus reservoir. In Proceedings of the 9th hellenic conference of the hellenic hydrotechnical union (pp. 35–42). Thessaloniki, Greece (in Greek).Google Scholar
  22. Lawrence, P. (1996). Guidelines on field measurement procedures for quantifying catchment’s sediment yields. Project report, HR Wallingford Ltd., UK.Google Scholar
  23. Marvin, C., Painter, S., Williams, D., Richardson, V., Rossmann, R., & Van Hoof, P. (2004). Spatial and temporal trends in surface water and sediment contamination in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Environmental Pollution, 129(1), 131–144. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2003.09.029.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Monks, J., & Sons, Ulen CO. (1929). Hydraulic works in the plains of Serres and Drama. Preliminary study (p. 126). Technical report, Athens, Greece (in Greek).Google Scholar
  25. Morris, G., & Fan, J. (1998). Reservoir sedimentation handbook. Design & management of dams, reservoirs and watersheds for sustainable use (p. 750). NY: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  26. Psilovikos, A. (1992). Research of the deposition processes of Lake Kerkini and the riverbed of River Strymonas and propositions for their confrontation. Technical report, Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Prefecture of Serres (in Greek).Google Scholar
  27. Psilovikos, A. (1994). Study-research of environmental impacts of the protection works in areas upstream and downstream of River Strymonas, Lake Kerkini and torrents in Serres Plain. Technical report, Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Ministry of the Environment, Planning and Public Works (D7) (in Greek).Google Scholar
  28. Psilovikos, A., Psilovikos, Ar., & Margoni, S. (2004). Mathematical simulation of the siltation in the aquatic environment of Kerkini wetland caused by suspended soils in River Strymon. In Proceedings of the 7th international geographic conference of the hellenic geographic association (Vol. 1, pp. 512–519). Mitilini, Greece (in Greek).Google Scholar
  29. Singh, S., Thakural, L., & Kumar, B. (2008). Estimation of sediment rates and life of Sagar Lake using radiometric dating techniques. Water Resources Management, 22, 443–455. doi: 10.1007/s11269-007-9171-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Syvitski, J., Morehead, M., & Nicholson, M. (1998). HYDROTREND: A climate-driven hydrologic-transport model for predicting discharge and sediment load to lakes and oceans. Computers & Geosciences, 24(1), 51–68. doi: 10.1016/S0098-3004(97)00083-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Walling, D., & Webb, B. (1987). Material transport by the world’s rivers: Evolving perspectives. In Water for the future: Hydrology in perspective (Vol. 164, pp. 313–329). Washington, DC: IAHS Publication.Google Scholar
  32. Zagorcev, I. (2007). Late Cenozoic development of the Struma and Mesta fluviolacustrine systems, SW Bulgaria and Northern Greece. Quaternary Science Reviews, 26(22–23), 2783–2800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zarris, D., Lykoudi, E., & Koutsoyiannis, D. (2002). Sediment yield estimation from a hydrographical survey: A case study for the Kremasta reservoir basin, Greece. In Proceedings of the 5th international conference “water resources management in the era of transition” (pp. 338–345), 4–8 September, Athens.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture Ichthyology & Aquatic Environment, School of Agricultural SciencesUniversity of ThessalyMagnisiasGreece
  2. 2.Department of Regional Planning & Development, School of EngineeringUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece

Personalised recommendations