Aranit Gelaj

Analysis of Meteorological and Hydrogeological Factors Influencing Prespa Lake’s Recent Water Loss


Aranit Gelaj graduated from the University Polytechnic of Tirane, Albania in 1996 and has successfully passed his MPhil Viva at Wessex Institute (WIT) with a thesis entitled “Analysis of meteorological and hydrogeological factors influencing Prespa Lake’s recent water loss”. The external examiner was Prof Eng Stefano Mambretti from Politecnico Di Milano, Italy and the internal examiner was Prof Alex Galybin.

The main objective of his study was to determine the reasons for the water level decrease of the Big Prespa Lake.

The dramatic reduction in the Lake’s water level is mostly related to temperature increasing in the past 23 years. The water balance calculation every year for the last 23 years was carried out to determine the cause of this phenomenon. Evidence can be found in favour of this theory relating to temperature increase. Updated data from the archives of the Albanian Geological Survey, Hydrometeorology Institute and the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Albania, coupled with similar data and information from both, Greek and Macedonian archives of the homologues institutions have been used to apply more evaluable formulas for the balance equation. Parallel to this, substantial work has been carried out in order to support this study by updating the hydrogeological map and producing a new one, to the scale 1:50000. A temporal trend or correlation has been found by balancing the inflow and outflow components of the Lake. Calculation of the evaporation rate, by means of the Penman Combined Equation (Mass transfer method + Energy balance approach), has been carried out based on outflow components. All data were computed by using either their monthly or yearly averages as a base.

As a result of his research, both examiners recommended that Aranit Gelaj be awarded the degree of Master of Philosophy.

This project was sponsored through the NATO programme for Security through Science entitled “Sustainable management of the international waters – Prespa Lake”.