The Effect of Coal and Diesel Particulates on the Weathering Loss of Portland Limestone in an Urban Environment
AbstractDue to reductions in domestic usage, legislation and changes in fuel use, coal derived particulates in the UK urban atmosphere have been significantly reduced. However, a large increase in road usage and an expansion in the use of diesel engines, has meant that the majority of particulates, now present in the urban atmosphere, originate from vehicle exhausts. Particulate matter, resulting from coal combustion, has been recorded as being present in black patinas observed on some historic stone buildings and monuments and has been associated with accelerated weathering of stone surfaces as a result of enhanced gypsum formation. In contrast, the effects of particulates resulting from vehicle exhaust on stone are much less understood. To investigate this, a comparative study was undertaken using the technique of microcatchments under ambient atmospheric conditions. This compared the elemental composition and volume of precipitation runoff from Portland Limestone coated with three different particulate treatments. Treatments consisted of coal and diesel particulates, both separately and in combination. Combining these treatments attempts to investigate any synergistic effects that may occur when coal derived particulates are overlain by layers formed by particulates from more contemporary sources. It was found that diesel-coated samples were much darker in appearance and showed a significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the overall rate of weathering loss when compared to untreated samples. Microcatchment runoff volume was reduced from diesel-coated Portland Limestone compared to untreated stone. Enhanced surface temperatures may be increasing the rate of moisture loss from the pore network between rainfall events. Since, generally, the pores must be full before runoff can occur, the reduction may be due to the differential volume of empty pore space between diesel-coated and untreated Portland Limestone.
CitationScience of The Total Environment, 370(1): 207-223
JournalScience of The Total Environment