Monday, October 13, 2014

Rock Decay

Rock decay has a huge impact on how the world around us is shaped and constantly changing. Not only does decay and weathering shape our landscape it also shapes our architecture and monuments. Rock weathering and decay has become a problem for Greece because their most treasured monuments are crumbling right in front of their eyes.

Parthenon, Athens

The Acropolis of Athens where the Parthenon sits recently has been labeled as in danger due to both physical and chemical rock decay. The flat rock that the Acropolis sits on has recently become very unstable and started to break off. Large boulder size rocks of the Acropolis have broken off and come in close contact of the both the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena. If this continues without intervention soon these rocks will destroy the surrounding monuments.

Recent decay that poses dangers to Greek monuments has always been an inevitable part of nature that can only be partially postponed. To start lets take a look at the types of decay that are happening in the Acropolis. The two main reasons for the decay happening is from water, and from pollution in the atmosphere. Archeologist believe that run off water from drainage pipes from the Acropolis Museum have been a huge cause for blame. The Parthenon is made solely of marble air pollution has caused for the chemical action of dissolution to decay the rock. The rising levels of nitric, and sulfuric acid in our air have started to react with the calcite in the marble that causes it to dissolve.
Acid Rain Effects On Columns
Marble being a metamorphic rock is much more porous than igneous rocks like granite and can absorb more water. With the Acropolis Museum having run off water that comes in direct contact with the Parthenon and Acropolis this is causing the marble monuments to absorb the water and further decay.





Picture Sources:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/The_Parthenon_in_Athens.jpg
http://scienceprojectideasforkids.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Greek-Ruins-224x300.jpg

Information Sources:
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/17096/20141004/is-acropolis-really-crumbling-and-2-500-year-old-parthenon-in-danger.htm
http://www.msn.com/en-sa/news/other/greek-tragedy-acropolis-is-decaying/ar-BB74ixx
http://www.ysma.gr/en/conservation-works
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/acidrain/5.html
http://info.marbleandgranite.com/blog/bid/187549/How-on-earth-can-marble-or-granite-absorb-water

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