Weathering and Degradation Assessment of Rock Properties at the West Stone Pagoda, Gameunsaji Temple Site, Korea

  • Lee, Chan Hee (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju National University) ;
  • Lee, Myeong Seong (Conservation Science Division, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Kim, Jiyoung (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju National University)
  • Received : 2012.10.10
  • Accepted : 2012.11.06
  • Published : 2012.01.31


The West Stone Pagoda at Gameunsaji Temple Site constructed in the 7th century is mainly composed of dark grey dacitic tuff bearing small numerous dioritic xenoliths. These xenoliths resulted in small holes due to differential weathering process from the host rocks. Physical strength of the pagoda was decreased due to weathering and damage caused by petrological, biological and coastal environmental factors. The southeastern part of the pagoda was extremely deteriorated that the rock surface showed exfoliation, fracture, open cavity, granular decomposition of minerals and salt crystallization by seawater spray from the eastern coast. The stone blocks were intersected by numerous cracks and contaminated by subsequent material such as cement mortar and iron plates. Also, the pagoda was colonized by algae, fungi, lichen and bryophytes on the roof rock surface and the gaps between the blocks. As a result of ultrasonic test, the rock materials fell under Highly Weathered Grade (HW) or Completely Weathered Grade (CW). Thus, conservational intervention is essentially required to prevent further weakening of the rock materials.


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