Differences in texture, physical properties and microbiology of weathering crust and host rock: a case study of the porous limestone of Budapest (Hungary)
Published:January 01, 2007
Á. Török, S. Siegesmund, C. Müller, A. Hüpers, M. Hoppert, T. Weiss, 2007. "Differences in texture, physical properties and microbiology of weathering crust and host rock: a case study of the porous limestone of Budapest (Hungary)", Building Stone Decay: From Diagnosis to Conservation, R. Přikryl, B. J. Smith
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Ashlars of the Parliament building and Citadella fortress made of three porous Miocene limestones, a fine-grained limestone, a medium-grained oolitic limestone and a coarse-grained bioclastic limestone, were studied and compared with quarry blocks of the same lithologies. The commonest weathering forms are white (thin and thick) and black (laminar and framboidal) crusts. To assess the processes of crust formation and detachment, descriptions of lithologies and associated weathering features were combined with micro-drilling, pore-size distribution and ultrasonic pulse velocity tests. Microbiological and textural analyses were also performed. The micro-drilling resistance measurements and ultrasonic pulse velocities clearly document the presence of crusts and the degradation of underlying fine- and medium-grained limestones. A textural change, with calcite recrystallization, is also marked by pore occlusion and reduction of microporosity in the crust zone. Crust detachment is initiated by the opening up of microfissures that develop below the cemented crust zones. Fine-grained limestone appears to be less durable than the coarse-grained variety and more prone to rapid crust formation and detachment. Ashlars from where the crusts were removed have lower micro-drilling resistance compared to quarry stones. Microbiological activity appears to play an insignificant role in crust formation and removal. Indeed, the combined effect of air pollution and related gypsum crystallization and more probably freeze–thaw weathering activity lead to crust detachment with rates strongly controlled by the texture and porosity of the limestone substrate.
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Building Stone Decay: From Diagnosis to Conservation
Stone buildings and monuments from the cultural centres of many of the world's urban areas. Frequently these areas are prone to high levels of atmospheric pollution that promote a variety of aggressive stone decay processes. Because of this, stone decay is now widely recognized as a severe threat to much of our cultural heritage. If this threat is to be successfully addressed it is essential that the symptoms of decay are clearly identified, that appropriate stone properties are accurately characterized and that decay processes are precisely identified. It is undoubtedly the case that successful conservation has to be underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of the causes of decay and the factors that control them. The accomplishment of these demanding goals requires an interdisciplinary approach based on co-operation between geologists, environmental scientists, chemists, material scientists, civil engineers, restorers and architects. In pursuit of this collaboration, this volume aims to strengthen the knowledge base dealing with the causes, consequences, prevention and solution of stone decay problems.