The Cueva del Yeso and the Barranco del Infierno

Gully and Cave - the same evolution

The most notable example of fluviokarstic evolution in the Sorbas Karst, where karstic processes and fluvial erosion interfere with one another, comprises the Barranco del Infierno and the Cueva del Yeso, where more than 1 km of galleries can currently be visited as an adventure-tourism activity.

The cave has developed at the confluence of two karstic gullies (barrancos). Different stages can be identified in its formation, which eventually led to the capture of the Barranco del Infierno by the cave itself. At a certain moment, a sinkhole was formed, which captured the waters flowing through these gullies. In this way, the evolution and down-cutting of some stretches of streambed ceased and so part of the “gully” has remained at a level higher than the bottom level of the cave. Currently, the Barranco del Infierno has a surface watercourse with springs that discharge directly into the streambed, such as the Fortuna Spring, as well as a subterranean watercourse (the Cueva del Yeso), whose formation and gradual deepening is linked to the geomorphological evolution of the gully that provides its water (Figure 11).

Karstic gully of El Infierno and the entrance to the Cueva del Yeso

Inter-stratifiction galleries in the Cueva del Yeso

"The underground gully" of the Cueva del Yeso

Figure 11

:: Index