Troodos

The study area consists of the Troodos massif, an east-west-elongated, dome-like topographic structure situated in the central part of the Island of Cyprus. Out of the 9,245 km2 of the total area of Cyprus, Troodos aquifer occupies a total area of 2,480 km2. The average annual precipitation is approximately 594 mm. Higher precipitation occurs in the central and southern part of the massif and decreases significantly in lower elevations. The months of December and January are the wettest with an average annual rainfall of 109 mm and 97 mm, respectively. Winter and spring seasons are usually followed by dry summers with minimum rainfall.

Land use map of Troodos mountain, Cyprus.

Troodos ophiolite rocks host an important fractured aquifer system of not only local but also regional importance. Secondary porosity in conjunction with the relatively high amount of precipitation in the Troodos mountain, facilitate groundwater percolation along and within faults and fractures giving rice to a very complex multi-lithological, multisystem fractured aquifer. A great number of government and private boreholes have been drilled and it has been proven that groundwater can be struck even at depths reaching down to 425 m from the surface, approximately 200 m below sea level.

Annual precipitaion map in Troodos, Cyprus.

Recharge is estimated to be around 110 M m3 /year, while surface runoff and pumping are estimated to be approximately 55 M m3 /year. Land use is evenly divided between agricultural and forested whereas while only about 1.4% of the total area is urbanized. Due to intensive agriculture, nitrification is the predominant anthropogenic pressure on both surface and groundwater within the study area.