I remember in first year standing in the rain on a field trip at Arthurs Seat fantasying about my fourth year trip in the warm sunshine in Cyprus. Four years later and the time had come for me to be going to Cyprus for my final field trip. All of my course of Geology and Physical Geography were mixed with the Geology for this trip making a group of around fifty. We spent two weeks in Cyprus looking at the different geology of the island from Pleistocene sediments to uplifted ocean crust. Each day we focused on a new topic of geology in the region. As I am part of the Geology and Physical Geography degree we also got to focus two of our days at looking at the geomorphology of the rivers and terraces in the region. For the first year my field trip was also paid by alumni of the university which took the financial strain off the trip!
Each day we drove to a different part of the island to study different localities and rock types. Cyprus has a diverse range of rocks and so each day we were learning about something new! From dykes, amphibolite, gypsum to chalk there was a rock type for you. The variety of geology made it a lot more exciting to be able to learn about different types and test my knowledge. The fieldwork consisted of being driven to different localities and trying to make observations to interpret the geological history. I found the trip really good for being able to see just how much I have learnt in the past four years. It was also nice to have the geology students in the field to be able to teach me any advanced knowledge that I may have missed from our different compulsory courses.
This trip was also really interesting as many of the lecturers joining us had an large knowledge of the islands geology and had done a vast amount of the research there over the past fifty years. It felt as if the research there is really important and that the university and other researchers are doing a lot to help advance our knowledge of the island.
The physical geography:
Terraces, terraces, terraces! Marine terraces or river terraces – we learnt about them both!
Unlike the landscape in Scotland which is heavily glaciated, Cyprus has a specific landscape identified anywhere on the island – TERRACES. These river terraces were formed at multiple elevations in different events and could be spotted in most places in the landscape. We also studied marine terraces and river cross-sections. This was fun to spot once we got our eye into the landscape and a different way to think about geomorphology.
Time not in the field:
This trip was the best for days off where we could spend time together on the course and explore the island. Some people chose to chill at the pool or beach while others hired cars to see different parts of the island. I managed to go sport climbing one day, visit Northern Cyprus and go hiking in the mountains. We were so lucky to get to spend so much time there and not only learn about the geology but also about Cyprus. On the last night we even had a full course meal and night out to a karaoke bar.
Overall it was a very fun field trip and made me really appreciate studying a course with such a different way to learn from lectures and labs.