LTSER Platform Koiliaris Critical Zone Observatory - Greece

Basic Information

Site Name: 

LTSER Platform Koiliaris Critical Zone Observatory

Short name : 

Koiliaris-CZO

Country (Site Location): 

Greece

LTER Member Network: 

Contact: Site Manager: 

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General Site Description: 

The Koiliaris River watershed is a Critical Zone Observatory that represents severely degraded soils due to heavy agricultural impact such as grazing, over many centuries. It represents Mediterranean soils under imminent threat of desertification (soil carbon loss) due to climate change that is predicted by the UN IPCC for the region over the next century. It is located in Western Crete, Greece. There are 17 communities in the catchment. The total area is 130 sqkm and the total length of the river is 36 km. Intensive hydrologic and geochemical monitoring has been conducted since 2004 while the site has historical data since the ‘60s. In addition, high-frequency hydrologic and water quality monitoring stations have been deployed to obtain data for the characterization of the hydrologic and biogeochemical processes with varying process response-times. There are 3 meteorological stations within the watershed and several outside. Water quality data of surface and groundwater have been collected since 2004. Koiliaris-CZO is managed by the Laboratory of Hydrochemical Engineering & Remediation of Soil (H.E.R.S. Lab) of the Technical University of Crete.

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General Characteristics, Purpose, History

Site Status: 

existing

Year Site Established: 

2004

Size : 

13 000.00ha

Purpose of Site : 

Koiliaris CZO is an exemplary site for studying the Mediterranean soils under imminent threat of desertification due to climate change. The main type of soil degradation in the basin is water erosion, which is due to the clearing of forests and natural vegetation for cropping and livestock grazing. De-vegetation and inappropriate cultivation practices induces soil organic matter losses making soils susceptible to erosion and desertification with global consequences for food security, climate change, biodiversity, water quality, and agricultural economy. Key research questions investigated at Koiliaris CZO are the following: Water Resources Management and Sustainable Management of Soils, Hydrologic Modelling of Complex Terrains, High Frequency Environmental Monitoring, Soil Degradation and Soil Formation, Stream and Ground Water Chemistry.

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Geographic

Coordinates: 

Latitude: 35.413440000000
Longitude: 24.089930000000