Abstract

Jarosite, a hydrous potassium iron sulphate mineral, has been found as the product of weathering in a silicic chalk building stone of a 13th century abbey at Fontevrault (Maine-et-Loire, France). Destabilization of pyrite and glauconite dispersed in the calcareous stone results in the formation of jarosite. The alteration process is probably of very local origin, within the zone in the building stone at its surface where oxidation occurs during wetting and drying on a cyclical basis. The problem of the incompatibility of highly acidic solutions needed to stabilise jarosite (2.5<<H) within the highly porous, calcareous silicate rock is not explained at present.

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