Gypsum Karst formations in Sorbas

pitacoThe Gypsum Karst formations in Sorbas are in eastern Andalucía, at the far east of the Tabernas-Sorbas sub-desert corridor, the most arid region in Europe. Hidden in this apparently barren, arid land lies one of the most stunning places in Andalucía. It is an underground world, carved out by the action of water over the ages on a large area of gypsum rock.

There are more than 1,000 caves, most of which are interconnected, and a spectacular, varied array of crystalline formations: stalactites, stalagmites, columns and cave corrals. Their great educational and scientific value, along with their speleological interest, have made them into one of the world¿s most important gypsum karst areas in the world, a real geological treasure.

The geological history of karst landscapes goes back six million years. At that time the Sorbas basin was filled with water from the Mediterranean. In a subsequent period, this sea became ever shallower, subject to high rates of evaporation, causing the precipitation of a section of gypsum more than 100 metres thick. When the sea withdrew definitively, the gypsum and other sediments remained on the surface, exposed to the slow but constant erosive action of rain water, producing this karst landscape of incredible beauty.

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