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Book Chapter

Petrophysical properties of selected Quaternary building stones in western Austria

By
Michael Unterwurzacher
Michael Unterwurzacher
Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, AustriaNow: Archaeometry and Cultural Heritage Computing Working Group, Institute of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
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Ulrich Obojes
Ulrich Obojes
Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Roland Hofer
Roland Hofer
Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Peter W. Mirwald
Peter W. Mirwald
Institute of Mineralogy and Petrography, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

In west Austria Quaternary building stones, such as lithic breccias of alluvial fans and talus slopes or calcareous spring tufa, have been frequently used as building stones since Roman times. Spring tufas are a widely used building material of historical objects in west Austria. This porous calcareous rock, formed by carbonate precipitation from calcium carbonate supersaturated spring waters, is an appreciated building stone: easy to quarry, lightweight, easily workable and relatively resistant to weathering. The Hötting Breccia, a lithified talus and alluvial breccia, has only been extracted in a few quarries near Innsbruck/Tyrol, however. Many of the mediaeval buildings of the towns of Innsbruck and Hall are built of this decorative type of stone. Petrography, mineralogical composition, porosity parameters and hygric properties have been investigated in this study from two tufas and one breccia occurrence. The results obtained reveal that these Quaternary stones, being formed at the Earth's surface, exhibit pore properties and hygric behaviour which differ considerably from other stone materials which have been subjected to the physical-chemical formation conditions of the upper Earth crust. This has implications for their workability, internal stability and weathering behaviour.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Natural Stone Resources for Historical Monuments

R Přikryl
R Přikryl
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Á Török
Á Török
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Geological Society of London
Volume
333
ISBN electronic:
9781862395817
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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