Photographer's Note

The spring, known as Mati, runs off the highest water quantity in Crete directly into the sea through the river Almiros. The water of the spring is brackish because somewhere quite deep it is mixed with seawater, excluding some winter months that its potable.rnrnResearches have indicated that water comes from two different areas. The first is Psiloritis mountains and its plateaus, such as Nida, from where winter rainfall can reach the spring in 9 hours; the second source are the hills which are nearby, such as Stroumboulas. However, the largest amount of water comes from Psiloritis sinkholes and the underground rivers (caves) and after a deep route merges with sea water. There, the big fault of Tylissos - Kroussonas, bouding the fertile planes of Heraklion and the rocky massif of Psiloritis, traps the brackish water forcing it to come out from the spring.rnrnThe water supply ranges from 3 till 40 cubic meters per second. A small artificial pond was formed around the spring during a failed mission in 1977 to reduce salinity due to hydrostatic pressure caused by elevated water level. Remnants of watermills operating here in the past for grinding cereals are still visible. rnrnFrom the springs a wide river starts that finishes at the beach, after creating one of the most important wetlands of East Crete - see WS. At the wetland of Almyros many birds can be observed all year round, as well as the Cretan date palm (Phoenix theophrastii) - see WS. Shortly before reaching the beach, a channel transfers 1/3 of water supply in the local Public Power Corporation plant (in the background) for cooling the engines.

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Additional Photos by Aleksandar Dekanski (dekanski) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 321 W: 129 N: 1531] (9289)
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