Gypsum, drop by drop

The stalactites stand out among the concretion features that can be admired in the Sorbas Gypsum Karst. Water flows through a central conduit in the stalactite and emerges into the atmosphere of the cave.

But in fact, in the case of the gypsum, we are not dealing with true stalactites, since many of them do not have a well-defined central feed-orifice. As the gypsum crystallizes it quickly plugs the orifice, so that subsequent growth takes place over the outer surface of the stalactite. These forms are called stalactite-cristaloids, and at their tip they have a crystalline “pincer” that holds the water as it evaporates, so allowing the growth of the “stalactite” to continue.

The growth of the stalectites is controlled y evaporation processes

Gypsum stalactites

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