Gypsum in the Guix fault, in Sallent

The name of the anticline-fault of El Guix (gypsum, in Catalan), in the south of Sallent, refers to the layers of gypsum that outcrop in the raised north block, near the axis of this tectonic structure. The pictures are taken from the cliff that the railway digs at the foot of the Cogulló mountain, which is the largest window to the insides of the Guix anticline-fault. 1st photo shows the morphology in lapiez -the sequence of sharp edges and round basins- on the vertical cut of gypsum layer after the dissolution by rainwater. The gypsum crystals are translucent, although the gypsum rock as a whole is seen white when these crystals are very tiny (4st photo). Very fine-grained gypsum is known as alabaster and it is used in sculpture because of its whiteness and because it is easy to shape.

We are not aware of traces of gypsum exploitation in the La Botjosa de Sallent area, where images come from. However, not far away, in Cabrianes, there is the old, made of stones furnace of Cal Garrell or La Carrera that used to turn gypsum rock from the northern block of the fault of Guix into plaster in powder.

[photos Jordi Badia]