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Sedimentary development and correlation of Late Quaternary terraces in the Kyrenia Range, northern Cyprus, using a combination of sedimentology and optical luminescence data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Romesh N. Palamakumbura, Alastair H. F. Robertson, Tim C. Kinnaird, David C. W. Sanderson


This study focuses on the younger of a series of Quaternary terraces along the flanks of the Kyrenia Range in northern Cyprus, specifically the Kyrenia (Girne) and the Koupia terraces. The Kyrenia (Girne) terrace is tentatively correlated with oxygen isotope stage 5 (125 Ka), and the Koupia terrace with oxygen isotope stage 3 (<50 Ka). Along the northern flank of the range, the Kyrenia (Girne) terrace deposits (5–20 m above modern sea level) typically begin with a basal lag conglomerate and then pass upwards into shallow-marine calcarenites and then into variable aeolianites, paleosols and fluvial deposits (up to 20 m thick). In contrast, the Koupia terrace (<2 m above modern sea level) consists of aeolianites and shallow-marine calcarenites (up to 8 m thick). The equivalent deposits along the southern flank of the range are entirely non-marine fluvial mud, sands and conglomerates. The marine to continental terrace systems can be tentatively correlated based on mapping, height above modern sea level and sedimentary facies. However, variable preservation and patchy exposure require such correlations to be independently tested. To achieve this, a portable optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) reader was used to determine the luminescence characteristics of the two terrace systems. Luminescence profiles show major differences in luminescence characteristics between the two terrace depositional systems, which can be related to sedimentary processes, provenance and age. These features allow sections in different areas to be effectively correlated. Individual sections show luminescence properties that are generally consistent with an expected up-sequence decrease in age. However, the younger Koupia terrace deposits show higher luminescence intensities compared with the older Kyrenia (Girne) terrace deposits. This can be explained by multiple phases of reworking of the Kyrenia (Girne) terrace deposits, which changed the luminescence characteristics of the sediment. The use of the portable OSL reader is therefore an effective means of correlating Late Quaternary terrace deposits in northern Cyprus and probably also elsewhere.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-462
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date2 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • Field sedimentology, Late Quaternary terraces, Luminescence data, Northern Cyprus, Portable OSL reader, Tectonic uplift

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