ERE1.3 | Cultural heritage and the environment: interaction, vulnerability, past and future changes
Cultural heritage and the environment: interaction, vulnerability, past and future changes
Co-organized by CL3.2/ESSI4/GI6
Convener: Luigi GerminarioECSECS | Co-conveners: Alessandra Bonazza, Beatriz Menéndez, Jürgen Moßgraber
| Wed, 17 Apr, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)
Room 0.16
Posters on site
| Attendance Wed, 17 Apr, 10:45–12:30 (CEST) | Display Wed, 17 Apr, 08:30–12:30
Hall X4
Orals |
Wed, 08:30
Wed, 10:45
The conservation, protection, and fruition of cultural heritage are closely related to the environmental setting and its variability. Historical objects, structures, and sites worldwide interact with a broad diversity of environments, on the surface (outdoors or indoors), underground, or underwater. As the characteristics of the Earth’s systems vary in space and time, also in view of climate change, so does the behavior of the materials shaping the cultural assets.
This session addresses the interaction between cultural heritage and the environment from the interdisciplinary perspective of geosciences, which represent a valuable support for investigating the properties and durability of the component materials (e.g., stones, ceramics, mortars, pigments, glasses, and metals); their vulnerability and changes in weathering dynamics; the influence of key environmental variables associated with climate, microclimate, and composition of air, waters, and soils; the impact of global warming, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and extreme weather events; the techniques and products to improve conservation practices; and the adaptation measures for heritage protection. This session welcomes contributions with an explicit and direct connection with environmental issues and questions. The possible research approaches include but are not limited to field and laboratory analysis and testing; damage assessment, observation, and simulation; modeling of decay and risk scenarios; strategies of monitoring and remote investigation; hardware/software design for collecting and processing environmental databases.

Orals: Wed, 17 Apr | Room 0.16

Chairpersons: Luigi Germinario, Beatriz Menéndez
On-site presentation
Marie-Laure Chavazas, Philippe Bromblet, Jérémie Berthonneau, and Cédric Payan

Carrara marble is widely used, in buildings and sculptures, in ancient and recent works. Yet, it can develop deteriorations over time, such as bowing, cracks, expansion, reduction of mechanical strength, when it is exposed to environmental conditions. Previous studies have shown that these deteriorations can result from exposure to temperature variations, and that they can be enhanced by additional humidity variations. However, the mechanisms at stake at the microstructure level are still not well-understood.

This work is therefore focused on the understanding of the degradation mechanisms induced on marble by temperature and humidity fluctuations. Laboratory experiments are carried out on Carrara marble samples first heated at different temperatures and then undergoing thermal, hygric, and thermo-hygric cycles. The temperature investigated during cycling belongs to the mild temperature range (40 – 105 °C) in order to simulate outdoor exposure conditions.

The mechanical state of Carrara marble samples is non-destructively monitored during the cycles with Nonlinear Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy (NRUS), through the evolution of resonant frequency and of nonclassical nonlinearity. The first parameter is related to sample stiffness, and the latter is highly sensitive to any change occurring at the microstructure level (micro cracks, friction, capillary effects, etc.). Additionally, microstructural characterization (mercury intrusion porosimetry, optical microscope and SEM observations) is made on marble samples to link the evolution of the NRUS parameters to the changes occurring in marble microstructure.

The impact of heating on marble is first studied for temperatures between 40 and 250 °C, and the progressive granular decohesion of the material is monitored with NRUS. Marble state is also characterized during adsorption-desorption cycles, which shows that relative humidity fluctuations alone do not induce permanent damage. Finally, the influence of thermal cycling at mild temperatures and the impact of combined temperature and relative humidity cycling are studied with NRUS.

How to cite: Chavazas, M.-L., Bromblet, P., Berthonneau, J., and Payan, C.: Thermo-hygric weathering of Carrara Gioia marble monitored with Nonlinear Resonant Ultrasound Spectroscopy, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1312,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Claudio Mazzoli, Chiara Coletti, Luigi Germinario, Lara Maritan, Riccardo Pozzobon, Nereo Preto, and Dimitrios Kraniotis

Pollution and climate change raise increasing concerns about the vulnerability of cultural heritage. In carbonate rocks, the primary concern is surface recession, which severely impacts the readability of details, preventing us from transmitting our legacy to future generations. Recession equations available in the literature are highly inadequate due to the complex relationship between climate conditions, hygrothermal (HT) behaviour, and stone textures. This is related to the limited set of parameters used by different authors and to the basic statistical approach used in their fitting processes.

Through this research, we aim to develop a robust and reliable model to predict stone recession, employing Machine Learning algorithms supported by Multivariate Statistical Analysis. We will examine a large database of surface recession measurements obtained from different types of carbonate rocks, which differ in their textural features (e.g. grain size, porosity) and HT behaviour (e.g. water vapour permeability), and of the relative micro-climate conditions under which they have been exposed during outdoor experiments. Additional recession data will be derived from laboratory experiments using an autoclave, allowing precise regulation of pH and temperature of water in contact with stone samples. Validation of the predictive model will involve comparing the recession predictions based on the time series of climate data and material characteristics with the observed recession obtained through the meticulous comparison of historical plaster replicas with the original monuments. This comprehensive analysis aims to ensure the model accuracy in capturing the real-world complexities of carbonate rock surface recession under varying environmental conditions.



ERODEM project was funded by the Department of Geosciences through the “Progetto Premiale” call. This initiative is part of the larger project "Le Geoscienze per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile," funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR) within the frame of the “Progetti di Eccellenza 2023-2027”.

How to cite: Mazzoli, C., Coletti, C., Germinario, L., Maritan, L., Pozzobon, R., Preto, N., and Kraniotis, D.: ERODEM: Exploring Carbonate Rock Recession through Data Fusion of Extensive Experimental Data via Machine Learning, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-11004,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Ákos Török and Tamás Zomborácz

The Theban Mountain, on the west bank of the river Nile, near Luxor is internationally known as the burial site of Egyptian Dynasties. The current study focuses on four tombs dating back to the late Old Kingdom and the First Intermediate Period. The tombs are located on the hill's southern slope and were cut into the rock. Their geometry is characteristic since at least six horizontal rows were excavated above one another. Sedimentary rocks of the study area form parts of Tarawan Cretaceous, Esna Shale and Theba Limestone formations. All four tombs were once lavishly decorated with wall paintings and reliefs carved directly into the carbonatic rocks. Until now, these structures have gone through considerable erosion in addition to the occurring damages resulting from their reuse as modern habitations until the late 20th century. Thus, most of the tombs’ decorations have perished or heavily deteriorated. Since 1983 a Hungarian Archaeological Mission has been exploring the site. Numerous attempts have been made to reconstruct the fragmented walls and conserve the remaining works of art, however, very little effort has been made to understand the deterioration process and its origins. This research describes the geological conditions, petrology and sedimentology of local carbonates, fracture pattern, micro-climatic conditions of the tombs, and decay forms. Stratification, micro-cracking and discontinuities were also mapped. The painted and carved surfaces were documented, and the condition of the walls was assessed. On-site tests included moisture content measurements (vertical profiling) and the detection of surface strength by non-destructive methods. Sensors were placed at various parts of the tombs, recording temperature and relative humidity. The main trigger mechanisms of deterioration processes were identified and preservation measures were made. This study aims to provide an example that helps assess the conditions of rock-cut tombs in arid climates and the changes linked to micro-climatic conditions.

How to cite: Török, Á. and Zomborácz, T.: Condition assessment of limestone tombs Theban Necropolis (Luxor, Egypt), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15733,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Observations of ambient vibrations at the archaeological site of Circus Maximus (Rome, Italy) induced by the rock and pop concerts held in the adjacent Circus Maximus Arena in the summer of 2023.
Paola Bordoni, Fabrizio Cara, Giuseppe Di Giulio, Daniela Famiani, Caterina Hill, Giuliano Milana, Stefania Puccillo, Gaetano Riccio, Maurizio Vassallo, and Carlo Doglioni
On-site presentation
Jürgen Moßgraber, Tobias Hellmund, Jürgen Reuter, Lola Kotova, and Katharina Matheja

Extreme weather events due to climate change not only affect nature, but can also impact historical buildings, collections, and historic parks and gardens. Assessing the extent to which cultural heritage is threatened by such weather and climate events is an interdisciplinary task that requires the collaboration of experts from heritage preservation and restoration, climate research, natural and engineering sciences, social and economic sciences, landscape architecture, informatics, and more.

Due to this complexity and the abundance of available information, modern IT tools are crucial in explaining the condition of cultural heritage sites to decision-makers and providing insights into future developments. To get a better understanding of the situation of historic parks and gardens, a knowledge platform can offer map-based visualization of data. The biggest challenge in developing such a platform was the integration and processing of relevant data. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field and the heterogeneity of the data, it was designed to be able to flexibly integrate and process various types of data. For example, the platform incorporates:

- (Live) sensor data,

- Severe weather risk maps,

- Climate projections and models,

- Expert knowledge incl. tree cadasters,

- Image and video materials, and

- Unstructured documents

This integration aims to provide users with a comprehensive view of their properties.

As part of the project, soil moisture sensors were deployed in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam Germany to monitor soil moisture levels over an extended period of time. These sensors allow for the measurement of soil moisture and temperature at a depth of one meter. A total of 10 sensors were placed at representative locations to provide insights into the irrigation needs of the property. The sensors transmit their data using LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), a wireless communication technology that can reliably transmit smaller amounts of data over long distances with low energy consumption. Given the vastness of the Sanssouci Park case study, this approach is suitable as it allows the sensors to be placed in relevant locations without having to consider technical constraints.

The collected data is stored using a FROST server, which is an open-source software project that enables the capture of time series data, including their metadata. The FROST server implements the SensorThings API, a standard of the Open Geospatial Consortium, which aims to standardize the description of sensor data and simplify their reuse. For the visualization of the captured sensor data, a map view has been developed that allows for the positioning of the sensors and the display of their measured data.

How to cite: Moßgraber, J., Hellmund, T., Reuter, J., Kotova, L., and Matheja, K.: Creating a holistic view on the situation of historic parks and gardens, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10672,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Philip Buckland and Hans Antonson

Cultural heritage in Sweden is increasingly at risk from a number of climate change related factors. These include the direct effects of erosion, flooding, landslides, melting permafrost and related threats, but also increasing industrial activity in the Arctic associated with energy production and the extraction of minerals for 'green' technologies. Whilst much of the physical science of climate related threats is well understood, the practical implications at the local and regional level, as well as the hands-on management of these risks has been somewhat neglected. In a recent pilot study we exposed problems in government planning processes, and in particular that even though the general risks and potential consequences are known, Sweden lacks any form of coordinated system for the prioritisation of sites in terms of conservation, protection, documentation or abandonment. On an international level, we also identified a tendency to focus on above ground archaeological remains and high status sites and monuments. Cultural landscapes, preserved organic and palaeoecological archives, and as yet undiscovered sites are, on the other hand, are less frequently studied and often neglected in planning processes.

Many important cultural heritage sites and landscapes are in close proximity to, and potentially impacted by, transport infrastructure. As the climate warms, roads in particular are increasing in number and traffic volume in the northern areas of Scandinavia. In cooperation with the Swedish Transport Administration we developed a prototype GIS system for assisting in the evaluation of climate related threats to sites in close proximity to transport infrastructure. Three areas were investigated in more detail, ranging from temperate coastal to sub-Arctic rural settings and including a broad variety of cultural heritage types from prehistoric to historical. Case studies looked at particular secondary risks, including the expanding use road salt, and the use of specific datasets (e.g. historical maps, erosion models). This work exposed not only the potential for using such a system in research and planning, but also a number of issues in the uncritical use of publicly available national databases for transport infrastructure, climate threats, and cultural heritage. For example, the poor spatial resolution of risk maps in the Arctic and the poor locational accuracy of many older archaeological and historical investigations can lead to an incorrect assessment of threats. Similarly, much of the rural north of Sweden is poorly surveyed, and existing predictive models for locating unknown sites are inadequate. There is thus a potential bias between risk assessment in the south and the north, and between urban and rural areas. A clear potential exists for the further development of GIS based models with a greater capacity for visualizing and, to an extent compensating for, variability in the quality of the underlying data.

This presentation will show some results and conclusions from these studies, as well as some preliminary findings from ongoing research into the reasons behind problems of implementing strategies for the prioritisation of cultural heritage threatened by future climate change.

How to cite: Buckland, P. and Antonson, H.: Challenges and potential for predicting and managing climate threats to cultural heritage in Sweden, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18769,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Chiaki Oguchi and Yukina Ikeda

Treatments intending to prevent stone damage sometimes accelerate deterioration unexpectedly. It would be meaningless if the use of protective agents in a more severe deterioration than originally intended. A combination of the properties between agents and stones determines the ability of protective agents to penetrate the stone. In particular, it is expected to depend on the pore diameter distribution of the stone. The present study focuses on freeze-thaw and salt weathering tests were carried out by using several types of tuffs to verify this. The stone materials used were Oya tuff, Nikka tuff, Tatsuyama tuff, Ashino tuff, and Towada tuff, which have different pore size distributions, different strengths, and different durability to salt weathering. In rocks with a high proportion of micro-pores and low resistance to salt weathering, the use of protective agents (water repellents) can delay the onset of surface deterioration. On the other hand, rocks with a high proportion of large pores (>100.5 µm) and not less resistant to salt weathering were found to be more likely to deteriorate more severely with an earlier onset of surface deterioration than untreated stones. It is considered to be because the salts crystallize at greater depths when protective agents are applied, whereas they crystallize only at the surface in the case of untreated rocks, and the crystalline pressure causes fracture from the deeper layers. Therefore, when using protective agents, it is necessary to understand the combination of rock properties such as rock structure, pore size, and strength of the rock sample with crystal pressure.

How to cite: Oguchi, C. and Ikeda, Y.: Effect of pore size distribution on the application of water repellent for preventing deterioration of stone materials., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19171,, 2024.

On-site presentation
Rabieahtul Abu Bakar, Nurin Faiqah Noorazri, Zakaria Mohamad, Anggun Mayang Sari, and Zamri Ramli

The Greater Kuala Lumpur (Greater KL) region, a pivotal hub of Malaysia's economic growth, confronts a burgeoning challenge amid rapid urbanization. Unprecedentedly, it is vulnerable to seismic reactivation possibilities from the dormant Kuala Lumpur Fault Zone (KLFZ). With a comprehensive integration of geospatial technologies, to dissect the geological intricacies of the KLFZ and assess the vulnerability of critical infrastructure within Greater KL. The research aims to bridge the realms of geology and infrastructure engineering, providing actionable insights for policy decisions and urban planning to enhance the region's resilience to seismic events. The problem statement underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive investigation into the interplay between the geological characteristics of the KLFZ and the vulnerabilities in infrastructure. Despite the economic significance of Greater KL, a notable research gap hinders effective mitigation and preparedness strategies. The aim is to unravel the distinctive features of the KLFZ, assess infrastructure vulnerability, and inform policies for safeguarding against potential seismic threats. The methodology unfolds systematically, employing geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and geological data. The research adopts a meticulous data acquisition approach, integrating Sentinel-2 imagery and a seismotectonic map of Malaysia to delineate the fault zone. The extraction of critical infrastructure is conducted with precision, considering the guidelines from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The subsequent steps involve buffer zone creation, overlay analysis, and data classification to develop a vulnerability index. The expected outcome revolves around a comprehensive understanding of the KLFZ and its implications on infrastructure vulnerability. The methodology employs detailed mapping and geospatial analysis, providing insights into fault characteristics, seismic hazards, and critical infrastructure susceptibility. The research aims to contribute a robust foundation for disaster preparedness, urban planning, and engineering strategies, fostering the safety and stability of Greater KL against seismic risks. This research contributes to the broader discourse on urban resilience and disaster management, emphasizing the significance of geomatics in addressing the complex challenges posed by active fault zones or the possibilities of reactivated fault zones. The findings hold practical implications for policymakers, urban planners, and geospatial professionals, offering a nuanced perspective on the intricate relationship between geological factors and infrastructure vulnerabilities in dynamic urban landscapes. In conclusion, this research endeavours to unravel an inform evidence-based decision-making, contributing to the sustainable development and safety of the Greater KL region.

How to cite: Abu Bakar, R., Noorazri, N. F., Mohamad, Z., Sari, A. M., and Ramli, Z.: Vulnerability Index of Critical Infrastructure in Greater Kuala Lumpur Fault Zone, Malaysia, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13920,, 2024.


Posters on site: Wed, 17 Apr, 10:45–12:30 | Hall X4

Display time: Wed, 17 Apr 08:30–Wed, 17 Apr 12:30
Chairpersons: Luigi Germinario, Beatriz Menéndez
Luigi Germinario, Isabella Moro, Fabio Crocetta, Patrizia Tomasin, Emanuela Moschin, Franca Cibecchini, Stella Demesticha, Enrico Gallocchio, Judith Gatt, and Claudio Mazzoli

This contribution presents one of the research directions of the project WATERISKULT (, involving the decay of underwater archaeological sites, in particular of submerged structures and artifacts made of stone. The pilot sites of this project are located in the western, central, and eastern Mediterranean Sea, and include the Roman complex of Baia in Italy, the Hellenistic harbor of Amathus in Cyprus, and the Roman port structures of Anse des Laurons in France. Diving and sampling campaigns were organized therein in the first half of 2023, and were followed by laboratory analyses that explored the state of conservation of different archaeological stone materials (limestones, marbles, tuffs, sandstones, etc.). Microscopic techniques were applied for investigating the stone composition, biofouling, and chemical alteration, observing the surface and stratigraphic features of the sampled materials. Moreover, 3D morphometric techniques allowed for the quantification of the physical damage of the archaeological surfaces. The analytical results were combined with site-specific topographic information collected during the dives and environmental data provided by seawater monitoring agencies. In that way, the interaction between ancient materials and the underwater environment was explored, discussing the relationship between deterioration and a range of different stone and seawater properties.

How to cite: Germinario, L., Moro, I., Crocetta, F., Tomasin, P., Moschin, E., Cibecchini, F., Demesticha, S., Gallocchio, E., Gatt, J., and Mazzoli, C.: Stone decay in the underwater environment: examples from Mediterranean archaeological sites, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1188,, 2024.

Sofia Deboli, Silke Visschers, Blanca Astray Uceda, Adela Šípková, Katrin Wilhelm, and Tim De Kock

Interaction between the historical built environment and environmental pollution can result in the accumulation of weathering crust on building material surfaces. A subgroup of weathering crusts are black crusts, which consist of gypsum layers formed by sulfation on calcium-rich substrates. These crusts occur more often and are more pronounced in polluted environments such as urban settings. As a result, they can incorporate particulate matter, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals. Black crusts can act as non-selective passive samplers, accumulating distinct layers of air contaminants depending on historical pollution levels.
Existing studies provide only coarse-resolution reconstruction of pollution, differentiating solely between inner and outer crust layers. Just a few explore the correlation between different periods of exposure to pollution and the variation of the composition of these crusts. This study focuses on the stratigraphic analysis of black crusts to assess their potential as a reliable geochemical archive for the reconstruction of past anthropogenic pollution within urban settings.
Following technological developments in transportation and combustion, the composition of pollutants in the atmosphere has evolved over the centuries, likely reflected within weathering crusts where pollutants accumulate. For the identification of past air pollution signatures, lead can serve as a useful tracer due to its isotopes, their presence is the result of different historical pollution sources. Variations in the ratios of lead isotopes provide a means to attribute and differentiate among these pollution sources. For lead isotope analysis, high-resolution laser ablation mass spectrometry will be used to distinguish between 206Pb, 207Pb, and 208Pb.
This study deepens the understanding of localized pollution levels in urban settings, allowing the implementation of conservation interventions including cleaning and consolidation, strategies to mitigate the impact on human health, local ecosystems, and biodiversity, and to support urban planning.

How to cite: Deboli, S., Visschers, S., Astray Uceda, B., Šípková, A., Wilhelm, K., and De Kock, T.: Black Crusts as Geochemical Archives: Preliminary Results from Antwerp, Belgium, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4340,, 2024.

Ayenew Demssie, Tim De Kock, Natalia Ortega-Saez, and Blen Gemeda

Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia and the source of the Blue Nile. The lake is protected as a natural heritage site. It is surrounded by wetlands that provide a sanctuary to a diverse set of flora and fauna some of which are endemic to the region. It is also a culturally significant area. Surrounding the lake and on the islands are found tens of stone built monasteries, churches, bridges and palaces built in the Gondarine period (17th and 18th Century AD) and earlier. However, these buildings are subjected to biological growth in many different types that cause  discoloration and  degradation. The short and intense rainy season contributes to the nature, diversity and intensity of biological colonization of these stone structures. Biofilms, fungi, mosses, lichen and higher plants can be observed, while also small animals such as mites and rodents are agents of bio-deteriorative process. While micro-organisms alter the visual appearance, roots of higher plants are responsible for more severe physical decay on the site and building level, increasing also the impact of moisture-related weathering in decayed locations. However, micro-organisms can also alter the surface properties of materials, like water absorption and retention, and it is currently not well understood to what extend these contribute to the observed forms of degradation, like chipping, fissuring, cracking, etc. 

This poster aims to address some of the key challenges of managing cultural heritage sites found in a complex, evolving and vulnerable ecosystem, i.e. Lake Tana. Factors such as intense rainfall, humidity, the state of the structures, intensification of agriculture and the perspectives of local communities and stakeholders will be evaluated.

How to cite: Demssie, A., De Kock, T., Ortega-Saez, N., and Gemeda, B.: Biodeterioration of historical buildings and sites in north of Lake Tana, Ethiopia: a preliminary investigation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7547,, 2024.

Marie De Groeve, Eda Kale, Scott Allan Orr, and Tim De Kock

Built heritage is a vital component of urban environments and is rich in cultural and economic values. These buildings are abundant in city centres and have been the site of development for several centuries. They have created dense urban environments, exhibiting strong urban heat island effects. Ground-based vertical greening is a widely used green initiative in dense urban environments to mitigate the current climate stressors due to its small footprint and its ability to cover a large surface area with vegetation. The impact of this green initiative on the materials and structural integrity of built heritage is currently poorly understood and thus the focus of this research.

Several studies have already proven the efficacy of ground-based vertical greening in fostering a more stabilized condition on the underlying wall surface, characterized by reducing the amplitude of temperature and relative humidity fluctuations and the amount of solar irradiation. More stable conditions can imply a lower risk of common degradation processes, such as freeze-thaw weathering and salt crystallization, in historic building materials. 

Since the extent of the vertical greening performance and the deterioration of building façades strongly depend on the orientation of the façade, part of this research aims to establish a relationship between those two variables while considering the orientation of a building façade. Monitoring case studies in the historic city centre of Antwerp during summer develops an understanding of the shading performances of vertical greening and characterises the boundary conditions, such as orientation or leaf area index (LAI), that signify the extent of efficacy. The current case studies reveal a positive correlation between the LAI and the shading potential of vertical greening and highlight the significant role of orientation in mitigating the environmental parameters on the wall surface, as the cooling processes of vegetation mainly depend on the amount of solar irradiation. More specifically, the highest leaf area index and a south or west orientation show us the most significant cooling behaviour during the day which can reduce the risk of salt crystallization the most. The shading performance of vertical greening is only one of the several mechanisms determining the impact of vertical greening on the local environment and the subjected historic materials. 

How to cite: De Groeve, M., Kale, E., Orr, S. A., and De Kock, T.: The influence of orientation and leaf area indices of a vertical green wall on historic building materials, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16698,, 2024.

Eda Kale, Marie De Groeve, Lena Pinnel, Yonca Erkan, Piraye Hacıgüzeller, Scott Allan Orr, and Tim De Kock

Ongoing urbanization has increased the impact of the urban heat island effect, air pollution, and noise pollution while limiting the space for green areas. Therefore an urgent action is required to mitigate these environmental risks. Vertical Greenery (VG) has emerged as a sustainable and viable solution across diverse contexts, but it is generally not always accepted for historic buildings by experts. The scepticism is rooted in concerns about the potential adverse effects on conservation practices and heritage values. Contrary to expert concerns, VG on historic buildings is seen as a response to reducing the urban heat island effect in high environmental risk areas by the users.

We conducted a comprehensive study in Antwerp (Belgium), a city actively advocating for VG solutions. We selected three neighbourhoods, namely Historical Centre, Oud Berchem, and Borgerhout Intra Muros Zuid, where air pollution, noise, and heat stress are above the risk level. We documented the VG implementations in these three neighbourhoods through the use of GIS and field survey methods. The prevalence of VG in case sites was analysed based on factors such as the heritage status of buildings and the morphology of streets, which could pose challenges to the implementation of VG.

The results suggest that VG is present in up to 14% of all buildings in the selected neighbourhoods. While in the Historical Centre, 59% of the buildings with VG have a heritage designation. As such, narrow streets and heritage designation do not prevent VG implementation in densely built neighbourhoods with green space deficits.

While this study provides site-specific results, the analysis methods we used can guide policymakers and urban planners to explore VG's adaptability to historic buildings in the development of effective integration strategies.

How to cite: Kale, E., De Groeve, M., Pinnel, L., Erkan, Y., Hacıgüzeller, P., Orr, S. A., and De Kock, T.: Mapping Vertical Greenery on Historic Buildings in Neighbourhoods with High Environmental Risks: A Case Study in Antwerp, Belgium, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-15931,, 2024.

Luis Valdeon, Beatriz Menendez, Javier Reyes, and Inge Rörig-Dalgaard

The European project SCORE (Sustainable COnservation and REstoration of built cultural heritage, GA 101007531) deals with a two-way assessment of impacts of the environment on building materials and of materials on the environment. Indeed climate conditions and atmosphere composition determine built cultural heritage (BCH) materials’ behaviour and, at the same time, BCH conservation processes (products and techniques) impact greenhouse gases emissions and eventually climate change.

This contribution presents a characterization of the effects of different climate conditions on several traditional restoration mortars, bricks and calcareous stones. A common strategy plan was designed in order to compare the results of weathering exposition experiments in several location: North of Spain, North-West of France, Denmark and Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. Some of the presented results correspond to real conditions experiments started before the common exposition campaign but they will be presented because of their interest.

The exposition support is a frame with a plate surface of 1mx1m, placed at 1m height under two exposure conditions: inclination of 10° and at horizontal position. The exposition frame is oriented facing the predominant wind direction. For comparison we chose to expose two kinds of hydraulic lime mortars from Saint Astier company, bricks from Denmark and Mayan calcareous stone from Campeche area treated with Ca(Zn (OH)3)2·2H2O nanoparticles (CZ) in order to improve their behaviour under the exposure conditions.  Mortar coupons had dimensions of 20 x 10 x  3 cm, while the stone samples ones were 5 x 5 x 3.5 cm. A first set of mortars consisting of two-layer sample was tested with a base of a salt protection mortar and a 1 cm upper layer with a finishing mortar. A second set of mortars consists of a monolayer of a masonry restoration mortar. In each specific site, local or recipe mortars have been also exposed. 

Samples have been characterized before exposition and at regular time intervals during the exposition period, that is not finished. Weight, hardness, deterioration patterns, colour and P wave velocity have been measured at different sample locations. Results indicate that in French locations commercial mortars become better than home-made ones, probably due to the absence of any additive in the home-made recipes. First results for the Spanish exposition site show that velocity measurements start detecting some points where layers begin to separate from each other. Some microcracks start to develop at the surface of one type of mortar respecting the monolayer one.  Finally colour changes have been detected in the two layers masonry mortar.

Such gradual (also visible) degradation has previously also been documented in laboratory examination of fired clay bricks submerged in liquids with varying pH (3,5,7,9,11) and varying duration up to more than one year (432 days). Increasing submersion duration resulted in increased degradation, whereas the different pH values representing exposure to various conditions (acid rain, traditional rain, connection with alkaline mortar) revealed different degradation patterns.

The stone coupons improve some of their properties due to CZ addition at initial periods, but they tend to decrease over time.

How to cite: Valdeon, L., Menendez, B., Reyes, J., and Rörig-Dalgaard, I.: Durability of Built Cultural Heritage Materials under different climate conditions, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13376,, 2024.

Beatriz Menéndez, Victor Yameogo, and Elhem Ghorbel

The European project SCORE (Sustainable COnservation and REstoration of built cultural heritage, GA 101007531) deals with a two-way assessment of impacts of the environment on materials and of materials on the environment. Indeed, climate conditions and atmosphere composition determine built cultural heritage (BCH) materials’ behaviour and, at the same time, BCH conservation processes (products and techniques) impact greenhouse gases emissions and then climate change.

The objective of this work is to study the feasibility of recycling old mortars and plasters from an existing building to extract the sand with the aim of reusing it to produce new mortars for the renovation of the built heritage. Old mortars and plasters were mainly made with "natural" sands, generally alluvium and river sands, available near the site. These sources of sand may no longer be available or have become scarce. The use of different sands from the original ones in restoration plasters has consequences on the aesthetic properties of the new plasters applied during the renovation, which often requires the use of additives and dyes. To solve this problem, one possibility is to extract the original sand from deconstruction mortars, taken for example from renovation sites.

We tested the proposed method on a site in Paris. Deconstruction mortars were crushed and the sand was recovered, characterized and used for the formulation of new mortars by adding lime and water. Washing methods with water and acid washing solutions have been tested in order to obtain sands free of debris and lime agglomerates. Citric acid was used because it presents good lime dissolution results and is quite easy to employ in restoration works. Microscopic observations were made to determine the effectiveness of each washing solution. Sands washed only with water show some remains of lime on the grain surfaces whereas washing the grains with citric acid solution (2 %) produces excellent results.

In addition, mortars formulations with different grain size of recycled sands were made. These formulations consist of a mixture of recycled sand, water and an additive lime in equal proportions. Specimens of 4 x 4 x 16 cm were produced and their mechanical properties were measured at 28 days of age. During the maturation time, the samples are kept in an environment with constant humidity and temperature, to optimize the conditions of hydration, carbonation and maturation.

The results obtained show that the mechanical properties of mortars made from recycled sand are acceptable and that these are intrinsically linked to the grain size and quality of the sands. The mechanical properties of mortars formulated with recycled sands of the right grain size are similar to those formulated with commercial natural sand. A large part of the recycled sand, after just washing with water, can be used in the formulation of new mortars with regard to standards and aesthetic properties.

How to cite: Menéndez, B., Yameogo, V., and Ghorbel, E.: Sustainability and cultural heritage conservation: re-use of sand from deconstruction renders, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-12505,, 2024.

Eduardo Molina-Piernas, María Jesús Pacheco-Orellana, Salvador Domínguez-Bella, Javier Martínez-López, and Ángel Sánchez-Bellón

The increase in demand for natural resources due to the growth of the world population is generating an unprecedented increase in waste, and the unsustainability of this situation has induced the change towards a more environmentally friendly economy, the so-called “Green Economy”. Through the new policies for waste management, its reuse in other industrial processes is being encouraged, favouring “Zero Waste” initiatives. This aims to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases that could accelerate climate change, as well as to the reduction of associated energy expenditure. In Spain, two of the sectors that generate the most waste are construction and agriculture, especially linked to animal by-products not intended for human consumption (SANDACH, by its Spanish acronym). In line with these new trends, new initiatives are required to promote the reuse of this waste and the development of more sustainable construction products that involve the reduction of the carbon footprint. Therefore, the main goal of this work is to better understand the effect of adding natural fibres of animal origin, in this case cow hair and pig bristles, to lime mortars for their use both in modern construction and its application in repair historical mortars. In this way, we aim to achieve a double goal: on the one hand, to obtain information about the quality of the result of combining these products; and on the other hand, to reduce CO2 production by avoiding the incineration of animal by-products not usable in other sectors, finally producing a more sustainable mortar. The specific objectives proposed are: 1) to compare the quality of lime mortars considering the addition of hairs, bristles or with combined proportions of both fibres, with respect to control samples without fibres; 2) to evaluate if the speed and degree of carbonation are affected by the addition of fibres; 3) to identify deterioration processes that may reduce the quality of lime mortars due to aging in the laboratory and outdoors; and 4) to establish optimal production and handling conditions in collaboration with regional or national companies interested in the use of this product. To achieve these goals, in this first stage we will present the preliminary results comparing a mortar without fibres as control sample, with 3 sets of samples with different fibre proportions (containing 10 g or 20 g of cow hair or pig hair per 2 kg), as well as a mixture of both types of fibres (5+5 g and 10+10 g per 2 kg). Based on these results, it will be possible to consider the possibility of increasing the quantity of fibres until reaching an acceptable limit of workability and usefulness without compromising the quality of these mortars.

Acknowledgements: This study was financially supported by the Research Project TED2021-132417A-I00 funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033 and by the European Union NextGenerationEU/ PRTR and E. Molina-Piernas acknowledges co‑funding from the European Social Fund (D1113102E3) and Junta de Andalucía.

How to cite: Molina-Piernas, E., Pacheco-Orellana, M. J., Domínguez-Bella, S., Martínez-López, J., and Sánchez-Bellón, Á.: Insight to the effect of adding cow hair and pig bristles to lime mortars: Towards obtaining more sustainable construction products recycling waste animal byproducts., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18747,, 2024.

Giuseppe Casula, Silvana Fais, Francesco Cuccuru, Maria Giovanna Bianchi, Paola Ligas, and Luciano Cannas

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.

Hazel Deniz Toktay

Identifying and determining buried archaeological structure limits are crucial for archaeological prospection surveys. The archaeological prospection surveys can shed light on protecting cultural heritage. Magnetic is one of the most applied methods in archaeological surveys to plan the excavation process. It aims to identify buried temples, graves, city walls, and other structures by interpreting the data obtained from magnetic measurements, which is one of the non-destructive geophysical exploration methods. In the process of interpretation of magnetic data, many methods have been developed, such as Horizontal Gradient Magnitude, Analytical Signal, Theta Map, and Tilt Angle methods, which can generate information about the boundaries of potential subsurface features. By analyzing the gradients of the magnetic field data, inferences can be made to determine the edges of subsurface potential archeological structure distributions.

The Olympos is an important ancient city in Antalya (the south of Turkey) and contains many structures from the Byzantine period. This research aims to detect the pipe drain as a water system of the Episkopeion region in the Olympos ancient city. To this end, Tilt Angle (TA) and Edge detection field (ED) methods were tested on the magnetic map of the synthetic model. The horizontal boundaries of the potential pipe drain elements of the region were analyzed by applying the same procedures on the magnetic map obtained from the magnetic measurements on the area that has not been excavated in the Episkopeion archaeological excavation area. Magnetic measurements were carried out in 4 different regions within the Episkopeion area, and each area was numbered and analyzed separately. Combining the results obtained, an integrated visualization of the water system in the area was achieved.

Keywords: Archaeological Prospection, Edge Detection, Olympos, Tilt, Angle, Pipe drains.


How to cite: Deniz Toktay, H.: Edge detection of magnetic data: Preliminary results of application to Episkopeion region in Olympos Ancient City (Antalya), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-19203,, 2024.