Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Underlying issues on the selection, use and conservation of building limestone

By
Bernard J. Smith
Bernard J. Smith
1
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
,
Queen's University Belfast
,
Belfast
,
UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Miguel Gomez-Heras
Miguel Gomez-Heras
1
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
,
Queen's University Belfast
,
Belfast
,
UK
2
Departamento de Petrología y Geoquímica
,
Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Instituto de Geología Económica (CSIC-UCM)
,
Madrid
,
Spain
Search for other works by this author on:
Heather A. Viles
Heather A. Viles
3
School of Geography and the Environment
,
University of Oxford
,
Oxford
,
UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

An argument is presented that, despite popular assumptions, many limestones, especially the wide range of clastic and, in general, granular limestones, do not decay in a steady and predictable pattern in response to slow dissolution. Instead these stones, especially when used in construction in polluted environments, invariably decay episodically through physical breakdown. Most commonly this is accomplished through a variety of salt weathering mechanisms that, if unconstrained, can lead to the rapid, catastrophic decay of building blocks and their complete loss – a process that has driven the extensive programmes of stone replacement that are typical of buildings constructed of these stones. In polluted environments, especially those rich in sulphur and particulates, the most common constraint on accelerated decay has been the rapid development of gypsum crusts that, for example, could rapidly ‘heal’ the scars left by contour scaling. It is ironic, therefore, that any reduction in pollution could conceivably lead to increased erosion by retarding this healing process. Because of this temporal variability of decay and its translation into spatial complexity, it is important that further research is undertaken to understand controls on the decay of these important building stones so that future conservation strategies can be appropriately informed.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Limestone in the Built Environment: Present-Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past

B. J. Smith
B. J. Smith
Queen's University, Belfast, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
M. Gomez-Heras
M. Gomez-Heras
Queen's University, Belfast, UK Universidad Complutense de Madrid; Instituto de GeologÓa EconÓmica (CSIC-UCM), Spain
Search for other works by this author on:
H. A. Viles
H. A. Viles
Oxford University Centre for the Environment, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
J. Cassar
J. Cassar
University of Malta, Malta
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
331
ISBN electronic:
9781862395794
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal