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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sedimentation of Harbors and Counter-Measures in the Greek and Roman Era

Authors
item Garbrecht, Jurgen
item Garbrecht, Gunther - N-A

Submitted to: American Society of Civil Engineers
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 12, 2004
Publication Date: June 27, 2004
Citation: Garbrecht, J.D., Garbrecht, G.K. 2004. Sedimentation of harbors and counter-measures in the greek and roman era. In: Rogers, J.R., Brown, G.O., Garbrecht, J.D., editors. Water Resources and Environmental History. Reston, VA: American Society Of Civil Engineers. p. 11-20.

Interpretive Summary: Upland erosion and coastline sedimendation affect many regions of the world and often adversely impact the environment, navigable waterways, and coastal structures. Erosion and sedimentation are not a legacy of modern land development, but have already existed in the past. Impacts from upland erosion and coastline sedimentation during the Greek and Roman era are illustrated for the harbors of Ephesos on the Aegean Sea and Seleukeia Piereia on the eastern Mediterranean coast. Sedimentation and delta propagation forced the harbor of Ephesos to be relocated, and its access protected from sedimentation accumulation. After many centuries of operation, the harbor was ultimately cut of from the sea, and the city of Ephesos declined as a prosperous and influential city. In the case of Seleukeia Piereia, a small intermittent mountain river discharged sediments into the harbor basin. Roman engineers protected the harbor by diverting the river and sediments through a mountain tunnel away from the harbor. Both examples illustrate upland erosion and sedimentation problems during Greek and Roman times, and demonstrate the know-how and technical ability of the Greek and Roman to effectively protect their harbors from sedimentation.

Technical Abstract: Harbor protection from upland erosion and coastline sedimentation during the Greek and Roman era are illustrated for the harbors of Ephesos on the Aegean Sea and Seleukeia Piereia on the eastern Mediterranean coast. Sedimentation and delta propagation forced the harbor of Ephesos to be relocated and its access protected from the effects of coastline sedimentation. After many centuries of operation, the harbor was ultimately cut of from the sea, and the city of Ephesos declined as a prosperous and influential city. In the case of Seleukeia Piereia, a small intermittent mountain river discharged sediments into the harbor basin. Roman engineers protected the harbor by diverting the river and sediments through a mountain tunnel away from the harbor. Both examples illustrate the know-how and technical ability of the Greek and Romans to maintain and protect their harbors from siltation.

Last Modified: 7/27/2014
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