Deterioration mechanisms of tuffs in Midas monument

Topal T., Sozmen B.

ENGINEERING GEOLOGY, vol.68, pp.201-223, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 68
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/s0013-7952(02)00228-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.201-223
  • Keywords: deterioration, durability, ignimbrite, Midas monument, tuff, weathering, WEATHERING INDEXES, ROCKS, CLASSIFICATION, DURABILITY, PROVINCE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Slightly weathered white and pink tuffs of the Midas monument have deterioration problems. In this study, depths and characteristics of the weathering zones developed within the tuffs are investigated through optical microscopy, X-ray diffractometry (XRD), chemical analyses, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and some index parameters. Accelerated weathering tests including wetting-drying, freezing-thawing and salt crystallization are performed, and durability assessment methods are used to predict the durabilities of the tuffs. The findings are compared with field observations. By examining quantitative weathering indices and comparing them with thin section studies, it is found that thin section analyses of the crystals, Lol, and WPI are good indicators to quantify the depth of weathering for the tuffs. However, thin section studies have limited value for fine-grained tuffaceous matrix. The chemical weathering of the tuffs produces weathered zones that are 4.5-cm thick within the white tuff and 2.5-cm thick within the pink tuff. Physical weathering causes scaling of outer layers of the tuffs and fracturing of feldspars along their cleavage planes. However, variations of the index properties of the tuffs due to weathering are not so significant to quantify the weathering depths in the tuffs. Among the accelerated weathering tests, salt crystallization is found to be the most destructive environmental condition. Pigeon droppings rich in NO31- are found to be the main source of soluble salt at the Midas monument. The salt transported up by capillary rise due to surface water causes spalling of the tuffs in the capillary zone. Surface water and salt of any kind in the close vicinity of the monument should be totally eliminated for the purpose of conservation. Field observations and the durability equations reveal that the white tuff is less durable than the pink tuff. Wet-to-dry strength ratio yields a better stone durability assessment among various durability methods used in this study. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.