News from the field

October 2021… a successful sampling campaign !!

The second visit to Cyprus aimed to sample carbonate deposits in caves, qanats and man-made tunnels. The fieldwork lasted 15 days and several sites were visited with the help of local cavers, colleagues at the University of Nicosia and geologists at the geological survey department. Both Tobias Kluge (KIT, Germany) and Carole Nehme (UoR—CNRS, France) visited the tunnel under the Amiandos mine in the Troodos mountains. Then, some quick prospection visits in the sea caves of Paphos area were completed but were not conclusive as we expected. Indeed, the field could reveal some unexpected flops… However, our visits to the evacuation tunnels build for both Pomos and Aragaka water dams revealed successful and small stalagmites covering the last 60 years were collected in one of the tunnels. Finally, the field visit to the Akamas Peninsula (SW Cyprus), specifically to visit water springs and Varathro pit was successful and some stalagmites and spring water were sampled in this area.

 The group of cavers who explored Cathedral cave (Photo credit: Andreas Antoniou)

 Photo on the left: drip water sampling in one of the Lepta Qanats. Photo on the right: care sampling of calcite (Photo credit: Carole Nehme).

Our visits in the Northern part of the Island were done with local cavers and colleagues with whom we are collaborating in this project. Visits to Hot cave, Cathedral cave, Lepta Delesi cave were conclusive with several stalagmites and drip water sampled in these sites. Some environmental parameters were measured as well (pCO2, H, T°) for each sampled site. Last but not least are the visits of the Qanats in Lepta village. These Qanats were built during the crusaders period, some were dry and other were still wet with calcite deposits on the walls and floors. Several carbonate deposits were sampled in this Lepta qanat.

The whole team after the visit of Varathro pit. from the left to the right: Davor Garasic (caver), Tobias Kluge (KIT-Gemrany), Andreas Antoniou (caver and forestry department), Carole Nehme (PI HIGH-PASM project) and Vasilis Symeiou (head of the GSD).


July 2021.. Our first field trip to Cyprus. 

Our first visit to some areas in the island showed the diversity of the inner landscapes specifically with the hot and arid climate of the Mesaoria plain contrasting the Troodos mountains with a humid and cool temperature.

Photo credit: Carole Nehme

The second and third days of our field trip showed the potential of some karstic areas in the Akamas peninsula and coastal areas of Paphos where some caves and valleys need extensive explorations. 

Photo credit: Carole Nehme

The fourth day was dedicated to visit some limestone quarries comprising some caves with secondary calcite deposits. Some of these deposits consist of stalagmites, flowstone and stalactites. Prospective datings will be conducted on some of the collected samples to determine the age of the calcite deposits.

Photo credit: Carole Nehme

In collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Nicosia, several meetings with historians and visits to libraries and health documentation centers helped us to evaluate the potential of historical archives in health, demography, weather data …. 
Photo credit: Emmanuel Eliot

The last day of our filed trip was dedicated to visit some underground mines. one of them is the tunnel under the Asbestos mine in the Troodos Geopark. Under the several hundred meters of waste produced by the mine, a 2 km tunnel was constructed in 1977 to drain a river down to a valley. At 2 km from the entrance, several stalactites and stalagmites grow at both sides of the drained water.


Photo credit: Andreas Antoniou