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Decay of the Campanile limestone used as building material in Tudela Cathedral (Navarra, Spain)

By
O. Buj
O. Buj
Facultad de ciencias de la Tierra, Dpto. de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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J. Gisbert
J. Gisbert
Facultad de ciencias de la Tierra, Dpto. de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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B. Franco
B. Franco
Facultad de ciencias de la Tierra, Dpto. de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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N. Mateos
N. Mateos
Facultad de ciencias de la Tierra, Dpto. de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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B. Bauluz
B. Bauluz
Facultad de ciencias de la Tierra, Dpto. de Petrología y Geoquímica, Universidad de Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

A characterization is presented of the building materials used in the Cathedral of Tudela, as well as of the different forms of decay, with the aim of establishing the cause and mechanisms of this decay. The Cathedral of Tudela was built mainly with Campanile limestone from the upper Miocene. The campanile limestone is a wackestone, with a terrigenous content of 2.6% and 1.5–2.5% of organic matter.

After a detailed investigation of all the different forms of stone decay, our conclusion is that the main type of damage affecting Campanile limestone has morphologies similar to a mechanical fracture with breakages of convex surfaces and resulting very sharp edges. The process of decay is caused by the expansion of the rock during the drying process, which has a very rapid and aggressive effect on the rock.

Laboratory tests showed that through extreme drying in the presence of a magnesium sulphate solution, the salt crystallization inside the stone generates a strength greater than the tensile strength of the stone, thus causing a fracture and the loosening of rock fragments. The materials introduced in recent restorations (sandstone and Portland cement) provide the necessary magnesium for the development of this weathering in Campanile limestone.

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

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