Spain possesses some of the most important examples of gypsum karst in Europe, in terms of the extent and variety of the gypsiferous outcrops. These are divided into gypsum belonging to the Triassic, Palaeogene and Neogene epochs, each of which displays different lithological and structural aspects. Some of Spain’s most significant gypsum karsts, from the speleological standpoint, are described, and these share a common characteristic of all supporting the development of large caves. Reference is made to the geomorphology, hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the gypsum karsts of Sorbas, Vallada and Gobantes-Meliones, which provide significant examples of intrastratal karst, speleogenesis by saline groundwater mixing and the influence of carbonate strata, respectively. Finally, brief geomorphological and speleogenetic descriptions of the more significant gypsum caves in Spain are given, together with a list of the longest and deepest gypsum caves in Spain.
Calaforra, Jose Maria and Antonio Pulido-Bosch.
Some examples of gypsum karsts and the more important gypsum caves in Spain.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol25/iss3/17