Limestones in Germany used as building stones: an overview
Siegfried Siegesmund, Wolf-Dieter Grimm, Helmut Dürrast, Joerg Ruedrich, 2010. "Limestones in Germany used as building stones: an overview", Limestone in the Built Environment: Present-Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past, B. J. Smith, M. Gomez-Heras, H. A. Viles, J. Cassar
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Germany has an enormous number of different carbonate rock units, which vary widely in their geological age and sedimentary depositional environment. Limestones quarried from these exposures have a wide range of usages and applications, such as dimension and ornamental stones, floor tiles and panelling, and for use as paving stones and massive stones. Since antiquity, limestones were used as building materials in areas where they were naturally available and abundant. Limestones exhibit a relatively good weathering resistance, which is mainly controlled by the mineralogical composition and the rock structure. The susceptibility of limestones to weathering and alteration is only secondarily related to the stone's contact with rainwater and its exposure to frost. In this situation the pore space is the main controlling factor. Industrialization and the subsequent increase in air pollutants, which started at the end of the nineteenth century, led to the formation of dark and unsightly crust deposits on the limestones surfaces. These crusts, being the result of man-made activities, are the main weathering problem for carbonate dimension stones.