Urban stone decay: The great weathering experiment?

Bernard J. Smith, Alice V. Turkington, Joanne M. Curran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper outlines recent progress in modeling salt-induced decay of urban stone, using both field-based and laboratory-based approaches. The opportunities afforded by examining stone structures of known age, composition, and exposure history are highlighted, and the fruitfulness of multidisciplinary research in this area for geologists, geomorphologists, engineers, and conservation architects is demonstrated. Examples are given that show how studies of urban stone decay have informed our understanding of salt weathering, surface loss, and both meso- and micro-environmental controls on weathering. Institutional and cultural reasons for the lack of discourse between building stone researchers and those concerned with natural rock outcrops are discussed, and the benefits of information exchange between the two disciplines is advocated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America
StatePublished - 2005


  • Damage mapping
  • Environmental controls
  • Exposure trials
  • Gravestones
  • Microclimate
  • Positive feedback
  • Rock weathering
  • Salt content
  • Salt distribution
  • Salt type
  • Salt weathering
  • Simulation experiments
  • Spatial variation
  • Subsurface decay
  • Urban stone decay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Urban stone decay: The great weathering experiment?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this