Our trip to explore the unique geology of Cyprus
Final year students from BSc (Hons) Geology and BSc (Hons) Earth and Ocean Science have just returned from a week long field course in Cyprus. Here’s a taster of what we got to do while we were there.
Based out of Limassol we spent six days examining the unique geology of Cyprus, consisting of accreted terranes and an ophiolite complex.
We started the week off by looking at the Mamonia Complex – a succession of deep marine sediments and reef limestones which grew originally atop seamounts.
This was followed on the second day with a trip to the summit of Mt. Olympus, Cyprus’s tallest mountain to look at rocks from the Earth’s mantle which are exposed at the surface. Throughout the day we looked at various rocks from the lower successions of the oceanic crust which are exposed on Cyprus, and finished up by visiting the now closed Agrokipia mine site, once the largest Asbestos mine on Cyprus.
The third day took us around the mid-upper rocks of the oceanic crust where we visited a series of localities at which sheeted dykes and pillow lavas were well exposed. In the small village of Zoopigi we were able to see a series of dykes cutting into plagiogranites and later on at Apliki we were able to see the relationship between pillow lavas and the sheeted dyke complex in great detail.
On the Thursday we visited the Arakapas oceanic transform fault, which is the World’s greatest example of exhumed seafloor topography. We then spent the rest of the day looking at a series of sedimentary sequences which gave evidence to the transform fault theory.
Friday and Saturday consisted of examining the sedimentary cover sequences of the ophiolite comprising a series of chalks, cherts, and deep marine siliceous rocks.
On Saturday afternoon we had the option to visit a spectacular archaeological site just outside of Limassol which had been inhabited most prominently by the Romans – but also by Neolithic settlers, the Greeks and Christian settlers.
We arrived back in Brighton in the early hours of Sunday morning and were greeted by somewhat contrasting weather to that we had become accustomed to!