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Title: Investigating possible correlations between the porosimetry and insoluble residue content of Malta’s Lower Globigerina Limestone
Authors: Zammit, Tano
Cassar, JoAnn
Keywords: Limestone -- Malta
Building stones -- Deterioration -- Malta
Building stones -- Malta
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Citation: Zammit, T., & Cassar, J. (2017). Investigating possible correlations between the porosimetry and insoluble residue content of Malta’s Lower Globigerina Limestone. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, 1-12.
Abstract: The millenary use of Lower Globigerina Limestone (LGL) as the main building stone of the Maltese Islands is testimony to the importance of this resource to the local building industry. Today, the pressing need to conserve Malta’s rich patrimony of archaeological/historical masonry buildings and structures drives research in this field, articularly in view of the observed variable durability of this stone type. LGL has been described as a moderately weak calcarenite characterised by a predominance of calcite (86–99 %) and high porosity. In theory, these physical properties should make this type of stone particularly susceptible to deterioration involving (a) mechanisms of capillary salt-laden moisture accumulation and movement together with (b) thermodynamic changes in soluble salts during dissolution and crystallization cycles. The study reported here forms part of a wider research programme aimed at characterising this resource. In this work, we assessed the durability of the LGL in a temperate Mediterranean climate characterised by two main factors, namely (i) a salt-laden marine environment and (ii) relatively short spans of heavy precipitation alternated with longer periods of virtual drought. The main aim of the study was to analyse macro/microporosity variations and minute, yet quantifiable, fluctuations in minor geochemical constituents of the stone with respect to observed weathering characteristics and accelerated crystallization damage test results. This was achieved through systematic sampling and testing of retrieved core samples extracted from dimension-stone quarrying areas in Malta.
Description: The research work disclosed in this paper was partly funded by the Malta Government Scholarship Scheme 2013.
ISSN: 1435-9537
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacBenCBH

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