geological history of Cyprus from the Upper Cretaceous (67 Ma)
is characterised by marine sedimentation in a sea, which becomes
gradually shallower. Sedimentation
begins with the deposition of the Kannaviou Formation (bentonitic
clays, volcaniclastics), followed by the deposition
of the Moni and Kathikas Formations (mélange).
Carbonate sedimentation begins from the Palaeocene (65 Ma) with the deposition of the Lefkara
Formation, which includes
pelagic marls and chalks (Fig. 6)
with characteristic white colour, with or without cherts. The classic development of the Formation is represented by
four members: Lower Marls; Chalks with layers of chert; massive
Chalks (Fig. 7); and, Upper Marls.
Lefkara Formation is followed by the Pakhna Formation (Miocene
age, 22 Ma), which consists mainly of yellowish marls and
chalks. The colour
of the rocks, the presence of calcarenitic layers and the
occasional development of conglomerates are characteristics that
differentiate the Pakhna Formation from the Lefkara Formation.
Sedimentation in the Pakhna Formation began and
terminated in a shallow-water environment with the development
of reef limestone (Terra Member at the base and Koronia Member
at the top of the Formation) (Fig. 8).
deposition of the evaporites of the Kalavasos Formation followed
in the Upper Miocene (Messinian, 6 Ma), as a result of the
closure of the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean and the
evaporation of its waters.
The Formation is composed of gypsum (Fig.
9) and gypsiferous marls that cover extensive areas.
Gypsum occurs in four types: sugary (crystalline);
laminated (‘marble’); selenite (transparent with large twin
crystals); and, alabaster (massive semitransparent).
With the reconnection of the Mediterranean Sea with the
Atlantic Ocean, a new cycle of sedimentation began (Pliocene, 5
The Nicosia Formation was deposited first and contains siltstones (grey and yellow) and layers of calcarenites and marls (Fig. 10). This is followed by the Athalassa Formation (Pliocene–Pleistocene, 2 Ma) consisting of calcarenites, which are interlayered with sandy marls. Finally, the Fanglomerate is a Pleistocene formation and includes clastic deposits (gravels, sand and silt). The stratigraphic column of the Troodos Ophiolite and the autochthonous sedimentary cover is shown in Figure 11.