καταβοθρες

Katavothres - Katabothres


Useful Information

Image: the sea water enters an artificial channel.
Location: Argostoli, Island Kefalonia, Ionian Islands.
Follow the coast road to the northern tip of the peninsula. From the center of Argostoli signposted.
Alternative route: follow road to airport across peninsula, 200m after sign "Airport 7km" turn right. Follow road to the northern tip of the peninsula.
Open: no restrictions
Fee: free
Classification: Ponor, sink holes.
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: T R Shaw (1992): History of Cave Science, The Exploration and Study of Limestone Caves to 1900, 2nd edition. Sydney: Sydney Speleological Society, p 89
Ernst W. Bauer (1974): The Mysterious World of Caves, Collins, London. pp 108-112
Address:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2014/07/21 08:09:44 $

History

 
1835corn mills built by Englishmen.
1868site visited by Heinrich Schliemann.
1952last water wheel destroyed by an earthquake.

Description

Image: the water flowing with some speed through the artificial channel sets a water wheel in motion, which symbolizes the historic water mills.
Image: the water wheel does not do any work, but it is still impressive.

The famous Katavothres (=swallow-holes) are an extremely rare geological phenomenon. To be honest, we do not know of any other place on Earth, where this could be found! The sea water flows inland to enter sink holes below sea level. In this area the people used the sea water to run mills.

It is rather difficult to understand, where the water goes, when it disappears below sea level. Obviously there are some caverns underground, which the water enters. But after some time they are full and the water should stop flowing. Sea level is a physical border, following the law of communicating tubes, water should flow from the side with the high water level to the side with the low level until both were at the same height. So after some time all caverns should be filled the same height as sea level. In the Mediterranean Sea, there is only very little tide, so this force is no good explanation.


Image: the swallow hole unfortunately collects any kind of floating rubbish, especially the empty mineral water bottles.

Over the time numerous theories were made up, how this could work. They all contributed some details to the modern theory:

Our explanation is a bit more detailed, but this natural phenomena is rather difficult to explain. You will find it here.


See also


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