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“Gypsum Cave”  or “Gypsum Karst” of Platani Village

“İncirli Cave” is located 2 km southeast of Platani village and occurs as a unique cave in the surficial gypsum deposits. The name of this cave comes from the fig tree planted at the mouth of the cave. The access to the cave is from the west. The mouth of the cave lies at an easily accessible place at the end of the path that comes from Platani village. 


Gypsum ( CaSO4.2H2O) is a mineral easily altered by the circulation of meteoric waters. It is a mineral which can be easily scratched by nail and is classified as the second mineral on the Mohs Hardness scale. Gypsum precipitated from seawater by evaporation in basins with restricted water circulation. Karstification is a morphological process occurring in gypsum where  meteoric waters coming through cracks, joints or faulted surfaces dissolve the rock mass producing caves and other such features in the rock body .


There are 22 areas where gypsum deposits are found in the northern part of Cyprus. “Incirli Cave” occurs in gypsum deposits that consist of fine-grained, laminated as well as coarse crystalline varieties and lies in the centre of the Agios Iacovos syncline. The  syncline, which forms an important structure in the southern part of the Kyrenia range, is 6 km in length and 700 m in width.   


The length of the cave in the east–west direction is 250 m, its width 5-10 m and its height 4-7 m. It can be entered easily by stairs.. The dissolution gaps observed  on the roof of the cave appear to have been caused by gravity faulting. Stalactites/stalagmites and cauliflower structures are also seen in the cave. The eastern end of the cave has been blocked by gypsum blocks that fell from the roof.


 This cave has not been deeply evaluated. According to the geological history of Cyprus, the structural process happened at least 750,000 – 1,000,000 years ago and the karstification which exists is not less than 100,000 years old.



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