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Trachyte weathering in the urban built environment related to air quality

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Year:
2017
Type of Publication:
Article
Authors:
Germinario, Luigi; Siegesmund, Siegfried; Maritan, Lara; Simon, Klaus; Mazzoli, Claudio
Journal:
Heritage Science
Volume:
5
Number:
1
Pages:
44
Month:
October
ISSN:
2050-7445
BibTex:
Abstract:
Decay of trachyte used as building stone in urban environment was investigated through the analysis of crusts and patinas found on trachyte of the Euganean Hills in the Renaissance city walls of Padua, northeastern Italy. Mineralogical and microstructural characteristics of the alteration products, as well as major- and trace-element chemical composition, were determined by optical microscopy, SEM--EDS and X-ray mapping, XRPD, and LA-ICPMS. The results are discussed referring to environmental parameters, in particular concerning air quality and anthropic pollution sources. The influence of composition of the stone and other neighboring materials on specific weathering processes is also debated. The formation of crusts and patinas turns out to be mainly due to exogenous processes. Enrichment in heavy metals and carbonaceous matter derives from the deposition of particulate emitted during fuel combustion by road vehicles, domestic heating and, secondarily, industrial activities. The particulate is typically cemented by calcite, mainly mobilized after dissolution from nearby mortar joints, or iron, released by leaching from iron-bearing minerals, reprecipitated according to pH fluctuations. Gypsum layers were rarely observed. Generally, composition of the weathering crusts and patinas of Euganean trachyte proves to be an informative marker for the relevant environmental conditions and their evolution.

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