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Deciphering climatic controls on sedimentation in a tectonically active area, Cyprus

WATERS, JENNIFER,VICTORIA (2010) Deciphering climatic controls on sedimentation in a tectonically active area, Cyprus. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The late Neogene to Quaternary of Cyprus is considered to be a tectonically active period coeval with major climatic change. Uplift, associated with the activities of the supra-subduction zone to south of island was concomitant with global cooling, the expansion of the Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheets and the Middle Pleistocene Transition. Despite the globally significant climatic events during the period of deposition, the Plio-Pleistocene climatic record in Cyprus is largely unknown and for the most part ignored. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate the stratigraphical record of the ‘fore-arc’, with the intention of elucidating the mechanisms controlling the cyclicity on sedimentation, in an attempt to understand the uplift history.

Sequence stratigraphical, palaeohydraulic, micropalaeontological and architectural analyses were conducted to provide an understanding of the sedimentary cyclicity, at key stratigraphical intervals. Correlation of the results to global patterns provided a robust method for deducing climatic controls on sedimentary deposition, thus leaving the residual record of tectonic uplift.

Cyprus is critically located in a region sensitive to climatic perturbations and is positioned between two major oscillatory atmospheric cells (Hadley and Ferrel Cells). The position of the boundaries of these cells is governed by the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone, which is controlled by latitudinal temperature gradients and ice volume. The effect of the Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheets and its influence on the climate belts over the eastern Mediterranean has been examined and has allowed the recognition of distinct climatic and oceanographic conditions.

The results indicate that the sedimentary evolution of the Cyprus ‘fore-arc’ responded to the progressive development of the Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheets and the orbitally controlled meridional movements of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone. Tectonics created the relief and source necessary for deposition, whilst climate provided the overriding control on internal architecture within the depositional systems.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Cyprus, Mediterranean, Climate, Tectonics, Neogene, Quaternary, Northern Hemisphere Ice Sheets, Cyclicity, Inter Tropical Convergence Zone
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Earth Sciences, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Mar 2011 11:44

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