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Irena Tsermegas, Maciej Dłużewski, Katarzyna Biejat and Adam Szynkiewicz

Function of Agricultural Terraces in Mediterranean Conditions - Selected Examples From the Island of Ikaria (The Southern Sporades, Greece)

The aim of the research was to define the influence of agricultural terraces on slope erosion. There have been selected three plots located on the Greek island Ikaria. On the plots detailed geomorphological mapping was done, spatial relief models were created based on the measurements taken using GPS RTK, georadar profiles were made using RAMAC/GPR and the extent of destruction of terrace resistance walls was evaluated.

In comparison with similar forms on other Aegean islands, Ikarian terraces are narrow and high. Their stability depends on: lihtology, slope gradient, height and spatial arrangement of particular terrace steps and the current way of their usage. It was acknowledged that the most stable are the forms created on crystalline schists and gneisses, whereas the slopes, which erode the easiest, are the terraced ones consisting of carbonate rocks.

The obtained results indicate that on Ikaria similarly to numerous other regions the most significant factor facilitating erosion on the terraced slopes is the cessation of their agricultural usage.