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Abstract

Parisian Lutetian and Val-de-Loire Turonian Richemont limestone tablets were exposed, sheltered and unsheltered from rain, for up to 3 years in Paris and Tours, respectively. Sulphur concentrations below the stone surfaces were measured from powders obtained by milling the stone in successive steps of 0.1 mm. In tablets exposed to rain, measured sulphur concentration remains equal to the stone background concentration, implying that the sulphur deposited between rain events is leached by the next event. In contrast, in tablets sheltered from rain, the sulphur concentration in the first layer below the stone surface increases non-linearly with time. Sulphation does not, however, penetrate more than 0.2 mm. A sigmoidal Hill curve provides a good fit with changes in measured sulphur concentration over time within the first layer of each sheltered stone. This model reveals a cumulative phenomenon of sulphation, characterized by a saturation level that obstructs deeper penetration of sulphur within the stone. The model shows the same type of time evolution of sulphation for both stones, but with different coefficients; these coefficients are related to the atmospheric environment of exposure and to the different intrinsic properties of each stone.

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