EGU24-2818, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A multidisciplinary approach for the diagnostics of the stone building materials of architectural structures

Giuseppe Casula1, Silvana Fais2,3,4, Francesco Cuccuru2, Maria Giovanna Bianchi1, Paola Ligas2, and Luciano Cannas5
Giuseppe Casula et al.
  • 1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Bologna, Italy (;
  • 2Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture (DICAAR), University of Cagliari – Cagliari, Italy (;;
  • 3Consorzio Interuniversitario per l'Ingegneria delle Georisorse (CINIGeo) - Roma, Italy (
  • 4National Research Council of Italy (CNR) - Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering (IGAG), Cagliari (Italy) (
  • 5Direzione Generale Musei - Direzione Regionale Musei Sardegna (Italy) (

The integrated use of non-destructive geomatic and geophysical techniques such as close-range digital photogrammetry, laser scanner techniques, thermography, sonic and ultrasonic methods, resistivity, etc... for the diagnostics of the stone building materials of architectural structures has become increasingly dependent on the integration of different disciplines of applied research. As is well known many historic monuments are characterized by severe damage due to temporal degradation, problems caused by differential settlements of the foundations and various types of natural hazards. Therefore it is of great interest to test and develop effective, integrated non invasive procedures to detect the conservation state of the building materials of historic structures, and identify and prevent their potential vulnerability in order to preserve their intrinsic characteristics for a long time.

For extensive applications, as well as for investigations on monuments or large architectural elements, scanning and digital high resolution images are particularly useful, thanks to their limited cost, high production and relatively simple reproducibility of the tests. These techniques give useful information on the shallow conditions of the investigated materials. Geophysical techniques such as the ultrasonic and resistivity methods are non-invasive and are considered the most appropriate to evaluate the internal structure and assess the quality of the stone materials of the architectural heritage.

This paper presents an integrated approach that combines advanced geomatic survey procedures, such as close-range photogrammetry (CRP) based on high resolution images and Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) techniques with a few geophysical techniques such as the ultrasonic and resistivity ones in order to test the effectiveness of the integrated approach in providing an effective diagnosis of stone building materials in the Basilica di San Saturnino (Cagliari – Italy). This Basilica is the oldest monument of the town of Cagliari (Italy) and represents an interesting synthesis of different construction techniques with heterogeneous stone materials of different origins. CRP and TLS were applied to the investigated elements with the aim of obtaining a natural colour texturized 2D-3D model with a calibrated scale and coordinates. The geometrical anomaly and reflectivity maps derived from the data of the CRP-TLS survey show the presence of some anomalies worthy of attention, but they were referred to the shallow materials. A further investigation on site using the ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) and electrical resistivity techniques were performed to investigate the materials in depth. The results of the CRP and TLS techniques allowed the best design of the ultrasonic and electrical techniques and also proved to be useful in the data interpretation phase.

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank the Ministero della Cultura - DIREZIONE GENERALE MUSEI - DIREZIONE REGIONALE MUSEI SARDEGNA (ITALY) for their kind permission to work on the San Saturnino Basilica.

How to cite: Casula, G., Fais, S., Cuccuru, F., Bianchi, M. G., Ligas, P., and Cannas, L.: A multidisciplinary approach for the diagnostics of the stone building materials of architectural structures, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-2818,, 2024.

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