The Kyrenia Terrane (Northern Cyprus): Detrital Zircon Evidence for Exotic Elements in the Southern Neotethys

A. Glazer*, D. Avigad, N. Morag, T. Güngör, A. Gerdes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The Kyrenia terrane of northern Cyprus comprises a tectonic stack of Triassic to Eocene rock units interleaved with basic and acid volcanics and minor metamorphic inliers, alongside an Oligocene-Miocene flysch. Our U-Pb-Hf detrital zircon investigation in the Kyrenia Triassic to Eocene section reveals Precambrian, Silurian (∼430 Ma), Carboniferous (∼300 Ma), Triassic (∼240 Ma), and Upper Cretaceous (∼85 Ma) zircons. The presence of 300 Ma zircons, as early as in Triassic sediments, is enigmatic because Carboniferous magmatism is confined to the Paleotethyan realm which is traced north of the Taurides. Deposition of the Kyrenia sequence closer to a Northern Tethyan province would better fit its detrital zircon signal. The detrital signal of the Kyrenia, indicative for derivation from areas north of the Mediterranean, also differs significantly from that of the Mamonia Complex (SW Cyprus) in which only Afro-Arabian sources are distinguished. Thus, in view of its unusual detrital zircon content, the Kyrenia sequence stands out in the Eastern Mediterranean as an exotic rock pile that cannot be straightforwardly correlated with its neighboring geologic environment. We defined the metamorphic inliers of Kyrenia as an ophiolitic mélange and recognized blueschist-greenschist facies metamorphism to which we infer an Upper Cretaceous age. A U-Pb zircon age of 555 ± 9 Ma (Cadomian) was obtained for the crystallization of a metabasic rock in the mélange. These findings support the geodynamic linkage of the Kyrenia with the Alanya and Bitlis massifs that were also affected by Upper Cretaceous HP-LT metamorphism and accreted to the southern Tauride.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere2021TC006763
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

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  • Carboniferous zircons
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • HP-LT metamorphism
  • Kyrenia terrane
  • Paleotethys
  • detrital zircon U-Pb-Hf


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