Geological Evolution of Cyprus
genesis of Cyprus took place through a series of tectonic
episodes (Fig. 12).
It originated with the subduction of the African plate
beneath the Eurasian plate and the formation of the Troodos
Ophiolite (Upper Cretaceous, 90 Ma), continued with its
detachment and sinistral (anticlockwise) rotation of 90° and
the attachment to its southern and western part of older rocks
ranging in age from 230 to 75 million years (Mamonia Zone).
A period of relative tectonic inactivity followed,
spanning in time from approximately 75 to 10 million years, and
was characterised by carbonate sedimentation and gradual
shallowing of the sedimentary basin (Lefkara and Pakhna
placement of the Pentadaktylos Range in the northern part of the
Troodos Zone and the uplift of the island to almost its present
position (Miocene, 10-15 Ma) constitutes the second last
The reconnection of the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean (with the opening of the Gibraltar Strait) and the rise of the sea level resulted in the deposition of new sediments, which are today represented by the marls and calcarenites of the Nicosia and Athalassa Formations. An abrupt uplift of the area occurred during the Pleistocene, approximately 2 Ma (last tectonic episode), where the Troodos and Pentadaktylos Ranges were uplifted in elevations higher than today’s. The abrupt uplift, combined with heavy rainfall, resulted in extensive erosion of the ranges, particularly that of Troodos, with the transportation of large quantities of erosion material (clastic deposits). These clastic sediments were deposited in large valleys and in the Mesaoria region, forming the Pleistocene Fanglomerates.