The majesty of Palouki

composite photo – enlarges with a click

I view the local landscape much differently these days. The floods of September 22-23 2015 made the difference. The events of that night and the aftermath brought the island’s physical environment, of which I am an admirer, into a different light. Rather than something merely to gaze at and enjoy, the physical environment showed that it was and would always be boss.

As many visitors know, a sudden summer shower can create havoc in the steep streets of the village as the rainwater collected from the upper reaches of the town charges down to the sea aided by the non-absorbent pavement. The steep incline simply multiplies the force of the water and any object not secured is brought along with it which also increases to force of the deluge.

These days looking up at the mountains one can understand why the floods of September 2015 were so devastating. As always the mountains simply acted as massive water collectors and routed any rain which couldn’t be absorbed downward. Due to light and shadow, the photo of the Palouki massif shows the potential quite well as the thin-soiled basins which provided the waters for Prassorema (left center) and Vathorema (right center) are quite well defined.

These two, among the hundreds of similar local geomorphic features, are huge and severe natural bowls comprising thousands of square meters of collecting surfaces. It is no wonder that the Stafilos valley is flat and fertile. Thousands of years of similar flooding have filled it with earth from the mountains. Oddly this run-off from the mountains is “good for tourism” as without the constant downward flow of soil and sand there would be no beaches (and the Askelpion would not need excavation)!

Google Earth source

Upper reaches of Prassorema


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