Salt weathering of sandstone at the Angkor monuments, Cambodia

identification of the origins of salts using sulfur and strontium isotopes

Takahiro Hosono, Etsuo Uchida, Chiyuki Suda, Akiyo Ueno, Takeshi Nakagawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The Angkor monuments in northwestern Cambodia, which are primarily made of sandstone, are suffering from deterioration due to salt weathering. In order to elucidate the sources of the salts and salt weathering process, this paper analyzed bulk chemical compositions and S (sulfur) and Sr (strontium) isotopic ratios for the salts and surrounding environmental materials. At places where bats inhabit the structures, various kinds of sulfate and phosphate salts are formed on the surface of the sandstone. The results of the analysis demonstrate that the S and P (phosphorus) components in the salts are primarily derived from bat guano. Moreover, Ca (calcium), which is the major element in the salts, is suggested to be derived from both bat guano and the sandstone. The isotopic data strongly suggests that bat guano is related to salt weathering. Removal of these animal excrements is essential for future conservation of these monuments. On the other hand, exfoliation of sandstone commonly occurs due to crystallization of calcite (CaCO3) on platform surfaces of pyramid-type monuments. A large amount of Ca in calcite is suggested to be derived from calcite cement of the building sandstone.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1541-1551
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
    Volume33
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov

    Fingerprint

    Cambodia
    monument
    conservation
    animal
    Salt
    Angkor Monuments
    Strontium Isotopes
    Weathering
    Sulfur
    Sandstone

    Keywords

    • Angkor monuments
    • Cambodia
    • Guano
    • Isotope
    • Salt weathering
    • Sandstone

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Archaeology

    Cite this

    Salt weathering of sandstone at the Angkor monuments, Cambodia : identification of the origins of salts using sulfur and strontium isotopes. / Hosono, Takahiro; Uchida, Etsuo; Suda, Chiyuki; Ueno, Akiyo; Nakagawa, Takeshi.

    In: Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 33, No. 11, 11.2006, p. 1541-1551.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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