Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 1:45 PM


STURROCK, Colin, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78705 and CATLOS, Elizabeth J., Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences, Austin, TX 78712,

Limestone and marble tiles have been widely used as building stones since ancient times. These carbonate rocks are particularly susceptible to damage by water. Most studies focus on the long term durability of limestone and marble tiles, mainly in outdoor use and as indicators of climate change. This study focuses on the damaging effects of water on indoor tiles in the short term, which could occur in a flooded home or building. Five limestone and marble tile samples were obtained from a building stone supplier and imaged using a stereomicroscope and scanning electron microscope. A series of photos was taken of cracks, large grains, vugs, and regions for potential recrystallization. The tiles were then soaked in rainwater for five days—the median flood duration from 1985-2002. The same areas were then photographed again after the submergence period to look for evidence of dissolution. The mass of each sample and the pH of the rainwater were also measured before and after the submergence period to look for further evidence of dissolution. Results suggest that water is a powerful agent in the decay and weathering of these rocks. Carbonates are especially susceptible to dissolution in water due to the reactivity of their primary mineral, calcite, with dissolved CO2 and SO2.