EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The seismicity of Cyprus

Thomas Merry1, Ian Bastow1, David Green2, Freddie Ugo1, Rebecca Bell1, Sylvana Pilidou3, and Iordanis Dimitriadis3
Thomas Merry et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, London, UK (
  • 2AWE Blacknest, Reading, UK
  • 3Geological Survey Division of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

The island of Cyprus sits at the boundary between the Anatolian and African plates, at a transition between oceanic subduction and incipient continental collision. Seismicity has been recorded here for millenia, with at least 12 town-destroying earthquakes recorded over the last 2,000 years. However, the instrumental coverage on the island has remained poor until relatively recently, and there is no bespoke velocity model or local magnitude scale, meaning that local seismicity is relatively poorly understood. Larger earthquakes, mainly to the south and west of the island, have revealed a mix of strike-slip and reverse faulting mechanisms. More enigmatic is the onshore seismicity, and questions remain over deformation within the Cyprus slab and uplift mechanisms of the Troodos ophiolite. We investigate seismicity in and around the island, in order to better understand these processes and their associated seismic hazard. We combine records of a temporary deployment of five broadband seismometers with the 13 permanent broadband seismometers on the island, as well as two accelerometers, to create a two-year local earthquake catalogue. We locate earthquakes both within the overriding Cyprus crust and the underthrusting African plate, and identify previously unrecognised seismically active regions on the island, especially around the Troodos ophiolite. We use this earthquake catalogue to constrain a new 1-D velocity model and local magnitude scale for the region. We also constrain new focal mechanisms and interpret these in the context of the regional tectonics.

How to cite: Merry, T., Bastow, I., Green, D., Ugo, F., Bell, R., Pilidou, S., and Dimitriadis, I.: The seismicity of Cyprus, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5732,, 2022.