""The presence of a diffuse biodeterioration phenomena can be observed across large areas of the outer surface of the limestone walls of the Church of the Virgin in Martvili. A differential erosion phenomenon was detected, suggesting a possible association with biological colonization. The erosion phenomenon is characterized by a circular discoloration leading progressively to the detachment of flakes of limestone at its center. Since the aforementioned process has not been described in the literature until now, the present study was focused on the interpretation of its origin and evolution. Three sides of the Church are affected by a variety of occurrences of circular differential erosion which display different stages of the process, whereas the western side is affected by epilithic growths across its entire surface. Surveys of the petrographic, mineralogical and physical features of the stone were made, and parameters such as density and porosity were recorded. Samples were analyzed by optical microscopy and SEM analysis in order to detected the presence of microorganisms whose species were then identified by means of morphological and molecular examinations. The study of cross-sections stained using the PAS method has confirmed the causal connection between microorganisms and the deterioration phenomena, pro- viding information about their spread of penetration into the substrate and their substantial potential for causing damage. Dryness appears to be the main ecological condition favoring endolithic rather than epilithic growth. The most common isolated microorganisms were cyanobacteria (Chroococcales) and, to a lesser extent, meristematic fungi. The characteristics of the stone, and especially some endogenous discontinuities related to the accumulation of sedimentary layers and to the action of stone carving tools, might explain why the same differential erosion phenomenon occurs in specific areas of the block stones. The development of the differential erosion phenomenon shows a variety of stages of biological colo- nization. The progressive evolution of the deterioration process has been observed in detail: (a) firstly, white circular discolorations appear on the stone, which darken over time eventually becoming almost black; (b) circular perforations appear around the perimeter; (c) and finally a flake detaches from the center, leaving a deep depression in the stone""
CANEVA G, LOMBARDOZZI V, CESCHIN S, CASANOVA MUNICCHIA A, & SALVADORI O (2013). Unusual differential erosion due to endolithic microorganisms on limestone (Martvili, Georgia). JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, 15(5), 538-545 [10.1016/j.culher.2013.10.003].
|Titolo:||Unusual differential erosion due to endolithic microorganisms on limestone (Martvili, Georgia).|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Citazione:||CANEVA G, LOMBARDOZZI V, CESCHIN S, CASANOVA MUNICCHIA A, & SALVADORI O (2013). Unusual differential erosion due to endolithic microorganisms on limestone (Martvili, Georgia). JOURNAL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE, 15(5), 538-545 [10.1016/j.culher.2013.10.003].|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|