The gypsum deposits to the southwest of the city of Heraklion, northern Crete, have been widely used as a construction material from early times either as structural or ornamental stone or foundation rock. In the study area, they were exploited and used extensively for the construction of the Knossos Palace. Although gypsum is considered as a basically weak and soluble material, it has withstood the test of time and the occasional failure problems have been observed only recently after the excavations and especially after the completion of the early restoration works. The paper attempts to highlight the geotechnical properties of gypsum and relate them to the various gypsum formation mechanisms and environments.

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