ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol.80, no.7, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Cappadocia region in Turkey is known as a touristic and historical area with volcanic rocks formed by the effect of intense Neogene calcalkaline volcanism. Rhyolitic to trachyandesitic tuffs, being widespread as a volcanic rock in this region, are used as building stone in historical structures and many monuments with cultural heritage. However, since they have variable durability performances, it is important to evaluate the durability of tuffs for restoration purposes. The aim of this study is to characterize the tuffs using their properties including effective porosity, water absorption, dry and saturated unit weights, dry and saturated uniaxial compressive strengths, dry and saturated point load strengths, dry and saturated sonic velocities and slake durability index, and to estimate the long-term durability of tuffs based on the correlation between field performances and measured properties of the tuffs. In the context of this study, 13 tuff samples used in ancient monuments with good durability performances were taken from nine quarries of Kayseri and Aksaray areas in the Cappadocia region. The physical and mechanical properties of these tuffs were investigated. The properties of these tuffs and the ones with poor durability based on the literature data were compared. A series of correlation graphs using unit weight, effective porosity, water absorption, sonic velocity, and uniaxial compressive strength values of all tuffs has been developed to identify durable and non-durable tuffs. Among these, effective porosity (by volume)-dry sonic velocity and effective porosity (by volume)-dry uniaxial compressive strength pairs yield better durability assessment for the tuffs.