Advertisement

Natural Processes Versus Human Impacts During the Last Century: A Case Study of the Aliakmon River Delta

Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 59)

Abstract

The Aliakmon River flows down from the northwestern mountains of Greece and is one of the largest fluvial systems in the Greek territory. Basin climate and geology favour the high rates of sediment production and transport and, consequently, the formation of an extensive (9.2% of basin area) bird-foot Holocene delta. Three phases (A, B and C) of human impacts over the past 90 years have caused pronounced changes on the natural evolution of the delta. During Phases A and B, a 50% increase of deltaic sedimentation rates in relation to Holocene pre-anthropogenic rates and an enrichment of deltaic deposits with heavy minerals occurred. Phase C, characterised by damming, increasing agricultural and industrial activities and population growth, resulted in 90% decrease in sedimentation rates compared to Phase B, a regulated hydrological regime with high electrical conductivity and nutrient concentrations of surface water, enhanced erosion of river channel and deltaic deposits and degradation of habitats along the lower Aliakmon River delta. Future climate scenarios and increasing environmental pressures are not compatible with current water use strategy and, given the vulnerability of the system (reservoirs and delta) to projected climate trends, stress for a new strategic natural resource management plan.

Keywords

Aliakmon River Deltaic sedimentation Human impact Natural resource management Water quality 

References

  1. 1.
    NEDECO (1970) Regional development project of the Saloniki Plain, vol A–C . GRONTMY, The Hague. Technical reportGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Syrides G (1990) Lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic and paleogeographic study of neogene-quaternary sedimentary deposits of Chalkidiki peninsular, Macedonia, Greece. PhD dissertation, University of Thessaloniki (in Greek)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nance RD (2010) Neogene-recent extension on the eastern flank of Mount Olympus, Greece. Tectonophysics 488:282–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Armijo R, Meyer B, Hubert A, Barka A (1999) Westward propagation of north Anatolian fault into the northern Aegean: timing and kinematics. Geology 27:267–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Karageorgis A, Anagnostou C (2003) Seasonal variation in the distribution of suspended particulate matter in the northwest Aegean Sea. J Geophys Res. doi: 10.1029/2002JC001672 Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hyder P, Simpson JH, Christopoulos S, Krestenitis Y (2002) The seasonal cycles of stratification and circulation in the Thermaikos Gulf region of freshwater influence (ROFI) north-west Aegean. Cont Shelf Res 22:2573–2597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Poulos SE, Chronis GT, Collins MB, Lykousis V (2000) Thermaikos Gulf coastal system NW Aegean Sea: an overview of water/sediment fluxes in relation to air-land-ocean interactions and human activities. J Mar Syst 25:47–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Poulos SE, Chronis G (1997) The importance of the river systems in the evolution of the Greek coastline. CIESM Sci Ser 3:75–96Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Skoulikidis N (1993) Significance evaluation of factors controlling river water composition. Environ Geol 22:178–185Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    ECOS Consultants (2001) Water resource management plan of Thessaloniki broader region. Hydrological analysis of Aliakmon River. Greek Ministry of Environment and Public Works, Athens (in Greek)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Poulos SE, Collins M, Evans G (1996) Water-sediment fluxes of Greek rivers, southeast alpine Europe: annual yields, seasonal variability delta formation and human impact. Z Geomorphol 40:243–261Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Konstantinidis KA (1989) Land reclamation project of the plain of Thessaloniki. Geotechnical Chamber of Greece, Thessaloniki (in Greek)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Karamanos H, de Madron D, Polyzonis V, Ludvig W (2000) The adjacent land areas as fresh water and particulate matter contributor to the coastal zone of Mediterranean Sea: Gulf of Lions and Thermaikos Gulf. METRO-MED project technical report, Athens, pp 10–19Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Skoulikidis N, Gritzalis K, Kouvards TH (2002) Hydrochemical and ecological assessment of a Mediterranean river system. Glob Nest Int J 4:29–40Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Styllas M (2014) A simple approach for defining sequence stratigraphy using borehole and cone penetration test data. Sedimentology 61:444–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kapsimalis V, Poulos S, Karageorgis A, Pavlakis P, Collins M (2005) Recent evolution of a Mediterranean deltaic coastal zone: human impacts on the inner Thermaikos Gulf, NW Aegean Sea. J Geol Soc 162:897–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lykoussis V, Karageorgis A, Chronis G (2005) Delta progradation and sediment fluxes since the last glacial in Thermaikos Gulf and Sporades basin, NW Aegean Sea, Greece. Mar Geol 222–223:381–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fouache E, Ghilardi M, Vouvalidis K, Syrides G, Kunesch S, Styllas M, Stiros S (2008) Contribution on the Holocene reconstruction of Thessaloniki plain north-central Greece. J Coast Res 25:1161–1173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ghilardi M, Psomiadis M, Cordier S, Delanghe-Sabatier D, Demory F, Hamidi F, Paraschou T, Dotsika E, Fouache E (2011) The impact of rapid early- to mid- Holocene paleoenvironmental changes on Neolithic settlement at Nea Nikomedia, Thessaloniki Plain, Greece. Quatern Int. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2010.12.016 Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bintliff J (1976) The plain of western Macedonia and the Neolithic site of Nea Nikomedia. Proc Prehist Soc 42:241–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zalidis G, Dimitriadis X, Antonopoulos A, Gerakis A (1997) Estimation of network irrigation efficiency to cope with reduced water supply. Irrig Drain Syst 11:337–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Skoulikidis N, Amaxidis Y (2009) Origin and dynamics of dissolved and particulate nutrients in a minimally disturbed Mediterranean river with intermittent flow. J Hydrol 372:218–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nikolaidis NP, Karageorgis AP, Kapsimalis V, Marconis G, Drakopoulou P, Kontogiannis H, Krasakopoulou E, Pavlidou K, Pagou A (2006) Circulation and nutrient modelling of Thermaikos Gulf, Greece. J Mar Syst 60:51–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lazaridou-Dimitriadou M, Artemiadou V, Yfantis G, Mourelatos S, Mylopoulos Y (2000) Contribution to the ecological quality of Aliakmon river (Macedonia, Greece): a multivariate approach. Hydrobiologia 410:47–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ilias FI, Lakis C, Papazafeiriou AZ (2008) Environmental parameters affecting species diversity along the Aliakmon River, north Greece. Pak J Biol Sci 11:862–868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kakogiannou E, Soliopoulou A, Feneri AM (2012) The use of temporal remote sensing images and GIS for Aliakmon delta coastline detection. South East Eur J Earth Obs Geomat 1:55–61Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Chester R, Voutsinou FG (1981) The initial assessment of trace metal pollution in coastal sediments. Mar Pollut Bull 12:84–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Economou-Eliopoulos M (2002) Apatite and Mn, Zn, Co-enriched chromite in Ni-laterites of northern Greece and their genetic significance. J Geochem Explore 80:41–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Karageorgis AP, Anagnostou C (2001) Particulate matter spatial-temporal distribution and associated surface sediment properties: Thermaikos Gulf and Sporades Basin, NW Aegean Sea. Cont Shelf Res 21:2141–2153CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOSERVICE LtdThessalonikiGreece

Personalised recommendations