Hypogene Gypsum Caves in Piedmont (N-Italy)

  • Cinzia Banzato
  • Bartolomeo Vigna
  • Adriano Fiorucci
  • Jo De WaeleEmail author
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)


Piedmont (N-Italy) is one of Italy’s regions where Messinian gypsum outcrops most extensively. Some gypsum caves have been explored in the past, but no detailed speleogenetic studies have been carried out. The discovery of unexpected large underground voids in a gypsum quarry near Moncalvo has demonstrated the presence of intrastratal karst systems with an origin at least partly linked to rising groundwater flow. A detailed look at one of the gypsum caves near Alba (Monticello cave) has revealed this labyrinth to be another classical example of intrastratal gypsum karst, clearly formed by the rising of undersaturated groundwater through a confined Messinian gypsum bed. This chapter deals with the typical hypogene morphologies in these caves and also reports some new results on the geochemistry of the waters of the Moncalvo area.


Messinian gypsum Intrastratal karst systems Maze caves Karst geomorphology Hydrogeochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cinzia Banzato
    • 1
  • Bartolomeo Vigna
    • 1
  • Adriano Fiorucci
    • 1
  • Jo De Waele
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure EngineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.Italian Institute of Speleology, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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