Modelling the rapid retreat of building sandstones: a case study from a polluted maritime environment
Published:January 01, 2002
B. J. Smith, A. V. Turkington, P. A. Warke, P. A. M. Basheer, J. J. McAlister, J. Meneely, J. M. Curran, 2002. "Modelling the rapid retreat of building sandstones: a case study from a polluted maritime environment", Natural Stone, Weathering Phenomena, Conservation Strategies and Case Studies, S. Siegesmund, T. Weiss, A. Vollbrecht
Download citation file:
Sandstones are widely used as building stones throughout NW Europe. Unlike limestone, sandstones tend to experience episodic and sometimes rapid surface retreat associated with the action of salts and often leading to the development of hollows/caverns in the stone. The unpredictability of these decay dynamics can present significant problems when planning conservation strategies. Consequently, successful conservation requires a better understanding of the factors that trigger decay and determine the subsequent decay pathway. An overview of results from previous studies provided the basis for simulation experiments aimed at identifying the factors that (a) initiate decay and (b) permit the continuance of salt weathering despite rapid loss of surface material. These simulation studies involve investigation of changes in micro-environmental conditions as surface hollows develop and examination of salt weathering dynamics within such hollows. These data combined with knowledge gained from previous work have allowed the refinement of a conceptual model of rapid sandstone retreat. In this model decay is linked to the establishment of positive feedback conditions through interactions between factors such as porosity, permeability, mineralogy and their effect on salt penetration.
Figures & Tables
Natural Stone, Weathering Phenomena, Conservation Strategies and Case Studies
The weathering of historical buildings and, indeed, of monuments and sculptures of natural stone is a problem that has been encountered for hundreds of years. However, a dramatic increase in deterioration in the structure of our built heritage has been observed during the past century. To understand the complex interaction that the stone in a building suffers with its near environment (the building) and the macro environment (the local climate and atmospheric conditions) requires an interdisciplinary approach and the application of many different theoretical, experimental and empirical resources provided by the geosciences, chemistry, material sciences, biology and construction engineers.
The protection of our architectural heritage has both cultural and historical importance, as well as substantial economic and ecological value. Large sums of money are being spent world-wide on measures for the preservation of monuments and historical buildings. Optimization of damage analysis procedures and damage process controls, as well as the development of monitoring and early warning systems for damage prevention, is needed. The past several decades has seen an unprecedented level of research activity in this area, the results of which are often difficult to access. This volume is intended to provide an integrated approach to the study of the deterioration of geomaterials, making the research available to a wide international audience.
Natural Stone, Weathering Phenomena, Conservation Strategies and Case Studies comprises thirty chapters divided into six sections: weathering of natural building stones; weathering processes; fabric dependence of physical properties; biodeterioration; quality assessment and conservation of stones; and environmental conditions. Review articles are combined with reports on recent progress in the various research fields, authored by a comprehensive team of international contributors. The volume will be of interest to all those involved in the protection of our built heritage, particularly geoscientists, material scientists, construction engineers, architects and stone conservators.