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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:28 AM   #1
Skaros
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Methoni

Greece , Peloponnese
Methoni


Methoni, one of the most historical places in the Peloponnese, with a cultural life that is centuries old.
Castle and part of the sandy beach in front


In the northest part of the west coast of the Peloponnese, lies the great fortress of Methoni. In the small peninsula, that was already fortified from ancient times, there has always been a city, renown for its harbour. It has been identified to the city Pedasus that Homer mentions under the name "ampeloessa" (of vine leaves), as the last of the seven"evnaiomena ptoliethra", that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to sumdue his rage. Thukidides (2,25) notes that the fortificcation of the city during the Peloponnesian war (431 π.Χ.) wasn't strong. Pausanias names the city Mothoni -and Mothonians its ihgabitants- and mentions that it was named after either the daughter of Oineas or aafter the small islet -that was later fortified- the name of which was "Mothon Lithos ". The rock protected the port of Methoni and at the same time stopped the large sea turbulation. The people of Nafplion settled in Methoni after the end of the 2nd Messinian was because they were chased away by the Argeians as allies of the Lakedemonians. Even after the independence of Messinia from the Spartans (369 π.Χ.) the Naftpleians continued to live in the area because they had maintained a friendly attitude towars the Messinians who returned to their homeland. During the 4rth century B.C. Methoni was fortified with more elaborately and continued to remain autonomous to the imperial roman years, when it enjoyed the favour of some emperors. During the Byzantiine years it continued to remain a remarkable harbour and one of the most important cities of the Peloponnese, home of the bishop.

The Venetians started having their eye on the harbour of MEthoni since the 12th century, since "it was in the middle of the route frome Venice to the East". Moreover, in 1125, they had lanched an attack against the pirates who used it as a shelter, because they had captured Venetian traders on their way home from the East. When the Franks had Constantinople under a siege in 1204, Geoffrey de Villehardouin strayed with his ship to Methoni on his way to Constantinople and had to spend winter in the area. He then accepted the invitation of the local lord Ioannis Kantakouzinos to help him occupy the Western Peloponnese and "success crowned the arms of this unnatural alliance". when Kantakouzinos died, his son tried to break the alliance, with no success, since Villehardouin had understood that the conquering of the Peloponnese by the Latins would be easy work.

Methoni initially, together with Koroni, were given to Geoffrey de Villehardouin. The Chronicle of Moreas mentions the reception of the Franks by the inhabitants. "They came out with the crosses, as well as with icons and came and kneeled before Kampanesis and they all sworn themselves his slaves to the death".

In Το 1206, however, the Venetians occupied the two cities and theid domination was established in the spring of 1209 with a treaty signed with Villehardouin , who made all the necessary consents that would guarantee him the help of Venice for the final subbordination of the Peloponnese. Life was organised in Methoni, as well as Koroni, according to the interests of Venice and the two cities became guardians of its interests, the "most important eyes of the State" to the trade and sea routes to and from the east. The Venetians fortified Methoni, which developed, as well as Koroni, into an important trade center with great prosperity. There are detailed descriptions in the venetian archives of the organisation and authority of the two messinian colonies of Venice as are on the image that they projected during the second half of the 14th century and mainly after the famish, when it was necesarry for them to be populated with "a new body of colonisers from the metropolis".
Medieval port of methoni



It was only natural to attract the attentions of the Turks, who, despite the treaties with Venice, were harbouring the notion of concquering the area. Vaghiazit B', in late 1500, gathered his forces against Methoni, "Port-Side of Frank Greece, the important middle station between Venice and the Holy Lands, where every traveller stopped on their way to the East. A pilgrim who went by in 1484 admired its strong walls, the deep moats and the fortified towers" ten years later it was more fortified. Vaghazit, despite the hard siege, would not have been able to invade it if the inhabitants, thrilled by the arrival of reinforcements, hadn't deserted the walls, a fact that the yenitsars took advantage of and invaded the tower from the governor's palace. The city was given to the flames, the Catholic bishop was killed while talking to the people, the men were decapitated, the women and children were sold to slavery.On the 9th of August 1500 "Methoni fell after haveing been in the hands of the Venetians for abour three hundred years. Happy for his trophy, Vagiazit made the yenitsar who first climbed the walls a santakbei, meaning a provincial commander and on the first Friday after the invasion, when the fire went out, he went to the desecrated cathedral to offer his thanks to the god of battle, to whom, as he confessed, when he was looking into the deep moat, owed the conquering of this fortified city". The desolation was so complete that he ordered families to be sent "from every village of Morias" so that Methoni regains its population again. The walls were repaired and the period of the first turkish occupation began. In 1531 the Knights of St John landed on the port of Methoni, planning to occupy the previously Venetina colony. Initially, they managed with a conspiracy to disembark and take out the guards. But the occupation of the fortress was not completed because turkish reinforcements arrived that forced them to leave, after having ranshacked the town and arrested 1600 prisoners. In 1572 the shores of Methoni were threatened by Don Juan of Austria, who did not manage to occupy it in the end.

During the whole of the 16th and 17th century, even though the look of Methoni hasn't changed, teh decline in all sectors is obvious. In June 1686 the forces of Moroxini had Methoni under siege, which was deserted by the Turks on the 10th of July. The walls, that suffered substantial damages during the siege were repaied and new inhabitants were sent to reinforce the population of the town. However, this second period of Venetian occupation did not last for long. In 1715 the Turks launched a siege to the castle and the Venetian defenders, deserted it terrified leaving via the sea gate. During this second period of Turkish occupation the decline was complete. As is apparent from the travellers' descriptions, the population was reduced, the battlements were in bad condition and the harbour became shallow. The most important trade conducted was that of slaves! The disappoinment that the travellers of the era felt, is also obvious in F. Chateaubriand's Tour, where its story is considered "with no glory".

In 1825 Imrahem occupied Methoni and settled in the command building, over the entrance of the castle. In the same building, the French general Maison who freed the town together with others in the Peloponnese, settled in 1829.

Nowadays the walls of the fortres, even though in ruins, continue to be impressive. The castle of Methoni occupies the whole are of the cape and the southwestern coast to the small islet that has also been fortified with an octagonal tower and is protected by the sea on its three sides. It;s north part, the one that looks to land, is covered by a heavily fortified acropolis. A deep moat seperates the castle from the land and communication was achieved by a wooden bridge. The Venetians builded on the ancient battlements and added on and repaired it during both periods that they occupied the castle.

Its entrance is roughly in the middle of the north side and is accessed by a stone bridge of 14 arches, that was built over the moat by the techniciats of Expedition scientifique de Moree, that accompanied general Maison. At the same time the gate was renovated, which with its monumental form constitutes one of the most impressive features of the castle. The other is the area it occupies. The entrance gate ends in a curviform arch framed on the right and left by pilasters with corinthian capitals. It is considered to be the work of Venetians after ο 1700. On the right and left of the entrance two large battlements can be seen. On the east part is the one built by general Antonio Loredan, during the second period of Venetian occupation.

That is when the moat that surrounded the battlmenets was expanded towards teh land and work was done on the on the bank of soil, that bears a plaque with a relief of the Lion of St. Mark. On the west edge is the Bembo battlement, which was built during the 15th century, The north side of the walls had reached its final form in the beginning of the 18th century and it retains it to this day. The north part of the walls reach 11 metres in height and the two battlements communicated through a passage. The wall is fortified with square towers on the NE side and a large round one on the NW. In order to build that they used well worked stoned that were lined with mortar. In some parts they used ancient construction material, easily seen nowadays in one of the north side towers as well as on the south part of the walls.

Right after the central gate, a domed road opens up that leads through a second gate and then a third in the interior of the castle, where the habitable part was and which was seperated from the north part with a vertical low wall (approximately 6 meters), fortified with five towers (four square and one octagonal) is dated to the period after 1500, when the Turks tried to reinforce the population and the fortification of the caste. In the interior there are ruins of the houses where the venetian lords lived during the period of rise, the paved street that led to the sea gate, the ruins of a turkish bath , the Byzantine church of St. Sophia, close to which a slate with latin lettering was found (dating back to 1714), parts of doric pillars, a monolithic granite pillar (1493/4), unlined, with a capital on the top of byzantyne style, which is supposed to have supported either the winged liion of Venice or the bust of Morozini. That is why it is called "Morozini's stele ". There was an inscription on the capital that has not survived to this day. On the left of the entrance are the ruins of the building which originally Imbrahem used as a residence in 1826 and later general Maison. The French of the liberating corps remained in the area till 1833 and the construction of the church of Santa Sotira, which is still in the castle is attributed to them. In the interior of the castle there are also a few cisterns and the remains of the brithsh prisoner's cemetary during the 2nd World War.

On the south part of the walls rises the spectacular sea gate which has recently been restored. It is comprised of two tall square towers (16 meters) that are linked with a platform (about 18 meters long and 6 wide) that is crowned with bastions. The gate opens in the center, and it ends uo in an arch on the top. The towers are build with large poros stones and had rooms in their interior. A stone-paved stretch leads over a small bridge to the small fortified islet of Bourtzi. This is the place where many soldiers and inhabitants of Methoni were slaughtered, when the Turks occupied the fort in 1500.
Bourtzi is dated back to the period after 1500 and has been used in various instances as a prison. It has a two-floor octagonal tower. On each floor there is a parapet with bastions. The tower finishes in a round dome. On the lower floor there was a cistern and the whole works, with small defensive value, is dated during the first period that the Turks occupied the fortress.

The west part of the walls is not as well costructed as the others. The wall was fortified with 5 square towers and chonologically it dates to the first period, when the Venetians occupied the fortress. This part with the rocks and the rough sea makes it hard to attack the castle and this is probably why there was not much attention paied to its construction. Moreover, this part of the castle seems to have suffered less damages as well as less repairs. It was here that during the 2nd World War, after an exlposion, parts of well constructed stones from the ancient walls of Methoni were found. Ancient construcning material has also been used in the foundations of one of the square towes. In the interior of the walls, ruins of turkish military establishments are preserved.

The east side of the walls also reached initially to the sea. Nowadays, a long strand of beach lies in front of a large part of it. Parallel to the east wall, up to the Bourtzi, there was a pier and this is where the small fortified harbour was formed (mandrachio), while the big one was to the northeast where ships could be pulled. The wall was fortified with towers on this side as well. The long east side has suffered many repairs, performed on the initial venetian battlements of the 13th cenury, mainly during the second venetian occupation and the turkish occupation. In one of the towers parts of the byzantine fortification are preserved. On the east side there was a small gate protected by a tower. On the southeastern part the ruins of a turkish tower are preserved.

On various parts of the fortification there are venetian emblems with the winged lion of St. Mark and inscriptions. This is the case on the north part of the Loredan battlement, where there is an inscribed plaque from the time when general Loredan was in command in the Peloponnese. On the north wall, on the right of the main entrance, there is also a plaque with the coat of arms of the families of the Foscarini, Foscolo and Bembo, to which the inscription denotes the construction of the Bembo battlement, just before 1500.

The castle of Methoni rises deserted and isolated today. When the winter winds hit its walls the locals say that you can hear the screams of the prisoners and the unjustly killed in the Bourtzi.

The best time to enjoy Methoni is the late afternoon, from the hill opposite. Then the light of the sun that is ready to sink on the side of the Ionian, glides over the large walls crowning them with dull tones. A sweet tranquility dominates everything.











Beach


Last edited by Skaros; February 4th, 2005 at 03:01 AM.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #2
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Methoni
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Old February 27th, 2005, 03:56 PM   #3
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Nice, thank you
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Old March 1st, 2005, 11:01 AM   #4
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thats a great fortress
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 10:38 AM   #5
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Thanks guys!

Some more pics for you Ozcan and Arpels









Early Christian Cemetary of Saint Onoufrios


Byzantine temple of St. Basilius ( 11th century A.D )


Ammos beach in the untouched island of Sapientza exactly oposite of Methoni


Sapientza

An island south of Methoni with a natural environment that captivates the visitor starting by rocky areas and ending in forests and ravines rich in strawberry trees (Arbutus Unedo). History and legend touch the imagination of the visitor challenging him to look for the lost monastery or remember hearsay looking for Manetta's cave. The mystery of the island becomes stronger because its real historical development is virtually unknown so each visitor can be a potential explorer.

FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE ISLAND: There is rich Mediterranean growth in Sapientza, of Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus coccifera, strawberry trees, Olea europaea sylvestris, Myrtus communis, Kalycotomus sp., thyme, poaceae, gramenae, Papilionaceae.We also see tall olive trees that reach 10 meters in height. An area covering 240 acres has been announced "Natural Preserve Monument" by the state.

Concerning game, in 1982, 1100 pheasants where released, while until 1986, twenty wild goats (kri-kri) and 26 sheep. Nowadays, the populations is estimated to be about 700 animals, (400 sheep and 300 chamoes).

Each year, a decree of the General Secretary of the Perfecture of Peloponnese states the time and the particular days that hunters from all over the country can visit the istland to hunt wildsheep, wild goats, pheasants, growse, Scolopax rusticola, Coturnix coturnix, Turdus philomelos. Since the area is controlled by the Forestry of Kalamata, each hunter has to contact the Forestry in order to get the required permission. The prices and the particular number of each species of game are stated by the forestry. The hunters can leave for the island from the port of Methoni at 8.30 in the morning and return at 2.00 in the afternoon.

The most important and beautiful island in the Oinoussai complex is Sapientza. It has been the favourite docking place for every fleet that had business with the cities of Methoni and Koroni, these important cities of the Mediterranean during the whole span of the middle ages.

With the Sapientza Treaty in 1209 it passed in the hands of the Venetians. It has been used as adocking area for the Turks and the Venetians during the third Venetian-Turkish war, and as a base of operations for the Greek fleet in 1825.

The ships that usually sailed near the coast of the island frequently crashed on its rocky coast resulting in the discovery of many important shiprwrecks from all the historical periods. One of these sank at the north part of Sapientza with its stolen cargo which was the pillars from the Grand Peristyle built by Herod in Caissareia, Palestine, in the 1st century A.D.

Another great shipwreck located in the northwest of the island, is the Sarchophagi shipwreck as it is called (Roman sarchophagi by sculpted titanian stone). The shipwrecks around Sapientza are so numerous and important that there is a thought for the creation of an underwater archaeological park.

Sapientza is a low island with an area of 9 square kilometres, its highest peak being on its north part, Foveri, at a height of 219 m. The slopes of the island climb up in lush greenery, and the crlystal clear waters of the sea, have a unique exotic colour.


Important sites:

The coastline of the island is rocky steep in some parts, while gentle in others. There is only one sandy beach on the island but is a real gem. This beach is located on the north part of the island, facing Methoni and is called Ammos. It is protected by the northwestern winds and has a basic docking area and a wooden gazeebo where one can rest.

On the northern hills of the island is a location called "Fragkokklisia". This may be the place where the Benedictine monastery (or St. John's of Jerusalem order) was located, where the treaty of Sapientza was signed, in 1209.

On the east side of the island, a rocky bay is located, called Maghazakia, where a good dock is. This is where the path that leads to the heart of the island, starts. There, the mountains form a natural fort around the protected valley, where a miracle of nature is preserved intact, the only Mediterranean Strawberry Tree Forest. It is comprised of trees, not bushes, with a height that is well over 10–12 m., which develop so much due to its isolation as well as the climatological conditions in the past 10.000 years. The forest and surrounding area of 24 hectars has been declared a natural preserve monument since 1986. Before this forest, an unusual sight is revealed: in the deep of the lushious green valley, in the center of the island, instead of vegitation, there is an orange-green plateau. This is a strange stone that was created by huge volumes of pollen that were concentrated there. This particular valley is named Spartolakka nad is the best source of information on the island for the scientists, concerning the dating of the forest.

The surrounding slopes are coverd in thick Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus coccifera, Olea europaea sylvestris, Calycotome villosa, Querqus ilex, and wild flowers. The vegitation is wild and thick. It is the habitat for herds of wild animals and birds. Here we meet herds of wild cretan wild goats (known as krikri) as well as wild sheep (mouflon). Through the vegitation, pheasants, growse, Columba livia, Scolopax rusticola, Turdus philomelos, spring up in the air.

It is usual for the visitor to come upon the previously mentioned inhabitants of the island. the area is controlled by the forestry dividion and hunting is allowed in it for a few months only, and for a particular number of game, under the supervision of a chaperon. In this way, the populations on the island are preserved.

To the south, we come accross a large closed bay, Porto Logo the safe harbour of the sailors and the fleets. coming into the bay, we pass by the islet of Bomba, where according to legend the Apostle Paul landed when his ship sailed into a storm on its way to Rome. The bottom of the bay is strewn with shipwrecks.

On the south part of the Porto Loggo bay, a path starts, via which the visitor can visit the south part of the island where the lighthouse of Sapientza is located. It is an impressive octagonal stone building of 18 metres in height built by the English circa 1890. At its base there are rooms for the lighthouse personnel. By climbing the 75 stone steps we reach the top of the lighthouse. The view is spectacular. The distance covered byt the lighthouse beam duriing the first years of its operation was 40 miles, while today, this distance has been reduced to 27 miles.

At the southest part of the island there are two islets, called Dyo Adelfia. To their southeast, the Oinnousai Pit is located, an underwater abyss that reaches to the deapest part of the Mediterranean, at 5.121 m., where reasearch for the "NESTOR" experiment is cunducted and has to to with neutrinos and the past of the universe. Many greek and international institutions contribute to this effort.

The west coasts of Sapientza are steep and wild, almost always stormy. In this part the protected small bay of Maneta is located. Legends tell us that the renown pirate Manetas used the cave that was here as his hideout, and launched all attacks to passing ships from here. Nowadays, the cave does not exist.

The island of Sapientza as seen form Methoni


Winter in Methoni
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 11:48 AM   #6
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Really interesting
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 01:35 PM   #7
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Castle,beach,history......breathtaking!!Thanks for sharing with us those beautiful pics!!
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Old March 4th, 2005, 11:21 AM   #8
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Thanks Guys!

STS for you :
A monolithic granite pillar (1493/4), unlined, with a capital on the top of byzantyne style, which is supposed to have supported either the winged liion of Venice or the bust of Morozini. That is why it is called "Morozini's stele "




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Old March 4th, 2005, 11:37 AM   #9
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Research projects in Methoni region

Neutrino Extended Submarine Telescope with Oceanographic Research

(from the official site www.nestor.org.gr)

Deepest point in Mediterranean Sea.
Frear twn Oinnouswn (Southwest Peloponnese , few miles from Methoni)
Depth : 5200 m

PURPOSE
To exploit the unique characteristics of the, nearby, deepest site (5200 m) in the Mediterranean Sea by hosting NESTOR Neutrino Telescope and a Deep Sea Multidisciplinary Laboratory.
Part of the Institute’s charge is to evolve into an International Laboratory.



NESTOR is Europe's first collaborative effort for a deep sea high energy neutrino telescope. It is a tower of 12 hexagonal floors of 32 m diameter with highly sensitive photomultipliers of large surface area at the corner points (168 in total for phase 1). Each floor is located above the next at vertical intervals of 20 m. NESTOR will detect the Cherenkov radiation produced by muons in a large volume of transparent matter, water. For neutrinos with energy less than a few TeV, one must look for muons that are upcoming, ie their parent neutrinos have traversed the Earth. The muons are produced by neutrinos or by atmospheric interactions of cosmic rays. Though the muon is a very penetrating particle and can traverse hundreds or even km of water, its range in rock is comparatively short. For neutrinos with energies larger than a few TeV, one can look for downcoming muons because there are comparatively few cosmic rays at these extreme energies. This is the reason for going deep underwater; for neutrino energies less than a few TeV, the few kilometers of water above the detector act as a shield against cosmic rays and reduce this cosmic rate caused background by a factor of one million. NESTOR will investigate a wide range of physics topics such as:

* High-energy neutrino astronomy, namely detecting neutrinos produced by galactic X-ray binaries, black holes or extragalactic sources, such as the active galactic nuclei (AGNs) et.c
* Neutrinos that are produced from the annihilation of dark matter particles, SUZY particles et.c.
* Neutrino oscillations (i.e. weighting of the neutrinos), using neutrinos produced in the atmosphere.
* Neutrino oscillations, using neutrinos from a particle accelerator.

There are only four neutrino related deep-water experiments in the world;
AMANDA in the South Pole, BAIKAL in Baical Lake, NESTOR of S.W. of Peloponnese and ANTARES off Marseilles.

NESTOR takes advantage of the unique fact that is deployed near the deepest part in Europe (depth up to 5200m). At a distance of about 14 km off the shore, at water depth of 4000m there is a fairly large abyssal plane that is perfectly suited for several deep-sea installations. In addition, the completely sheltered Bay of Navarino is very close to this offshore location (18 nautical miles) and has maximum water depth of about 60m. Further, within a distance of few miles from the deep location, there are three natural harbours (Methoni, Port Loggo (in the island of Sapienza) and Schiza)The small city of Pylos lies at the entrance of the bay. This combination of a protected, comparatively shallow bay for preliminary test operations with a deep-water site so close to shore seems to be optimal for the NESTOR research work. In fact this is a unique site in Europe. The most important requirements for a deep underwater neutrino telescope are: Clear water (i.e. water with small light attenuation coefficient), deep site (to filter out the atmospheric muons), proximity to the shore (to use a short electro-optical cable to power the detector and transfer the data to shore), low velocity underwater currents (for minimal mechanical stress on the detector), flat and wide sea bottom (to permit further expansion) and stable geological characteristics (for long life time of the detector) PLUS proximity to harbours for safety and easy operations at sea. In short the unique advantages that the selected site provides are:

* Proximity of the deep sea to the shore
* The existence of a data highway with an electro-optical cable
* The existence of the bay of Navarino for continuous testing of components.

The selected site fulfils these requirements. We have designated as the NESTOR/LAERTIS site, a location with co-ordinates 36*37.5'N, 21*34.5'E, in the middle of the deep underwater basin (called the NESTOR basin) which has a gentle slope.


COLLABORATIONS

Physics Dept.
University of Athens
Institute for Geodynamics
Athens Observatory
Physics Dept.
University of Crete
Institute of Nuclear Physics
Institute for Informatics and Telecommunications
NCRS DEMOKRITOS
National Science Foundation
Physics Dept.
Hellenic Open University
NESTOR Institute for Deep Sea Research, Technology and Neutrino Astroparticle Physics
Physics and Astronomy Dept.
University of Patras


University of Kiel
University of Hamburg


RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
INSTITUTE FOR NUCLEAR RESEARCH
P.P.SHIRSHOV INSTITUTE FOR OCEANOLOGY
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN BUREAU OF OCEANOLOGICAL ENGINEERING


SCRIPPS INSTITUTE FOR OCEANOGRAPHY
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII
UNIVERSITY OF WINSCONSIN
LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY


UNIVERSITY OF BERN
CERN *







during tests










Pylos Castle (where some times lectures about the project take place)


Pylos...






Ionian Sea Rainfall Experiment

One of the biggest impacts of climate change on human societies will be a potential change in global rainfall patterns. Knowledge of the global distribution of rainfall is one of the biggest challenges facing climatologists today. This is because rainfall patterns change over very small space and time scales, making measurements from any single type of instrument difficult to extrapolate to global scales. This challenge is even greater over the oceans where few people live and standard rain gauges are unavailable. Eventually satellite instruments will provide global coverage of rainfall patterns, but currently these instruments average the rainfall over large spatial scales with poor temporal resolution. Major research efforts are underway to understand the satellite measurements with land-based weather radars, and in turn, the measurements from the land-based weather radars are evaluated using dense rain gauge networks. But these validation systems are unavailable over the oceans. A new method for measuring rainfall at sea is to simply listen to the sound of the rain splashing at the ocean surface. This sound is surprisingly loud and has unique characteristics that allow it to be identified as rainfall generated and then to be quantified1. The Ionian Sea Rainfall Experiment will attempt to link radar, rain gauge and underwater ambient sound measurements of rain to show that such measurements will improve our ability to understand satellite measurements of rainfall over the oceans.

A unique combination of geography and scientific resources exist in the Ionian Sea southwest of Greece that allow this experiment to take place. Here the ocean is very deep, over 3 km deep, very close to shore, less than 20 km southwest from Pylos, Messinia. This means that deep ocean ambient sound measurements can be made within the coverage area of a land-based radar. And in turn, a dense rain gauge network can be placed on land at the same range from the radar as the acoustic measurements. The NESTOR Institute for Deep Sea Research, located in Pylos, has experience deploying ocean moorings in this part of the Ionian Sea and will assist scientists from the University of Washington deploying a mooring with Acoustic Rain Gauges (ARGs) 10 km southwest of Pylos. The National Observatory of Athens (NOA) has a polarimetric X-band weather radar that will be located in the town of Methoni and be operated in collaboration with researchers from the University of Connecticut. And finally, residents of the town of Finikounda have agreed to allow rain gauges to be set up in their yards under the guidance of scientists from NOA and George Mason University.

Chart showing the location for the Ionian Sea Rainfall Experiment. The ARG mooring will be 10 km southwest of Pylos at the 2 km isobath. The Polarimetric X-Band Radar will be at Methoni. The Dense Rain Gauge Network will be at Finikounda. The distance between Pylos and Methoni is roughly 10 km.


Rainfall is one of the most challenging geophysical quantities to measure because of its variability in both time and space. The assumption that rainfall is uniform within a measurement cell of a weather radar, or especially, a satellite-based instrument, is often dubious, and can lead to incorrect measurements. This problem, often referred to as “beam filling”, has traditionally been explored by scientists using Dense Rain Gauge (DRG) networks within the coverage area of a weather radar2,3. The acoustic measurement of rainfall has the unique feature that the measurement cell, or listening area, of the rain gauge is a function of the depth of deployment. This area is roughly π(3d)2, where d is the hydrophone depth. Thus, a new way to explore the beam filling problem will be to use Acoustic Rain Gauges placed at different depths in the ocean. This is one of the scientific goals of the Ionian Sea Rainfall Experiment. ARGs will be placed at 50 m, 200 m, 1000 m and 2000 m depths on an ocean mooring roughly 10 km from the NOA Polarimetric X-Band Radar located in Methoni. The NOA radar has a high spatial resolution, roughly 110 m by 140 m measurement cells at 10 km range. Thus, the listening areas for the different ARGs average over 4, 70, 1700 and 7000 radar cells, respectively. The DRG network in Finikounda will also be at roughly 10 km range from the NOA radar, and so the radar rainfall statistics over the ARG mooring and the DRG network should be similar.


Last edited by Skaros; March 4th, 2005 at 11:47 AM.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 12:48 PM   #10
Arpels
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the Mediterranean is very deep in this area
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Old March 4th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #11
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Skaros:thank you for those interesting infos!!
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