chapter  15
Cyprus
Pages 12

The remarkable shape of the island - sometimes compared to that of a lion’s skin pegged out to dry - has been determined by two almost parallel and slightly curved fold ranges. The northern arc, known in its western portion as the Kyrenia range and as the Karpass in the extreme north-east, is a simple narrow anticline rising from the sea to a maximum height of about io o o m some 8 km inland. The southern arc is larger, but has been shattered by great upwellings of magma in the core of the folds, so that the central part of the arc now consists of an enormous boss of plutonic material surrounded by broken fold structures. This boss forms the Troodos range, the highest part of the island, with a maximum height of nearly 2000 m. Between the two arcs lies a lowland plain some 20-25 km wide, known as the Mesaoria. The plain, about 150 m in average altitude, and slightly undulating, is open to the sea on the east and west.