Deterioration Analysis and Source Area on Rock Properties of the Seokgatap Pagoda in the Bulguksa Temple, Korea

불국사 석가탑의 풍화훼손도 분석 및 기원암의 산지추정

  • Lee, Myeong-Seong (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju Notional University) ;
  • Lee, Chan-Hee (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju Notional University) ;
  • Suh, Man-Cheol (Department of Geoenvironmental Sciences, Kongju National University) ;
  • Choi, Seok-Won (Department of Geoenvironmental Sciences, Kongju National University)
  • 이명성 (공주대학교 문화재보존과학과) ;
  • 이찬희 (공주대학교 문화재보존과학과) ;
  • 서만철 (공주대학교 지질환경과학과) ;
  • 최석원 (공주대학교 지질환경과학과)
  • Published : 2004.10.01


The Seokgatap pagoda composed of mainly alkali granite and other minor pink-feldspar granite, fine-grained granite, granodiorite, diorite, gabbro, and tuff. Despite the small loss and damage derived from joints, its peel-off and exfoliation are serious enough to cause the heavy deterioration on the stone surface. The chemical and petrological weathering has partly replaced the original rock-forming minerals with clay minerals and iron oxyhydroxides. Based on the petrogenesis, rock materials of the pagoda is very similar to rocks of Dabotap pagoda and the Namsan granite in the Gyeongju. The central fart of the pagoda has sunken highly, which caused all the corners to split and the structural transformation to become worse. The reverse V-shaped gaps between the materials have broken stones filled in a coarse way. The iron plates inserted between the upper flat stone laid on other stones and tile pagoda body in the north and east side has been exposed in the air and corroded, discoloring of the adjacent stones. The overall diagnosis of the Seokgatap pagoda is the deteriorated functions of the stone materials, which calls for a long-term monitoring and plans to reinforce the stone surfaces. But the main body including the pagoda roof stone needs washing on a regular basis, and the many different cracks should be fixed with glue by using the fillers or hardeners designed for stone cultural properties after removing the cement mortar. In case of the replacement of the stone materials with new stones, it's necessary to examine the pagoda for the center of gravity and support intensity of the materials. The structural stability of the pagoda can be attained by taking a reinforce measure in geotechnical engineering and making a drainage. The ground humidity, which has aggravated weathering and structural instability, should be resolved by setting up a humidity reduction facility. The contamination of lichens and bryophyte around the pagoda and on the surface is serious. Thus biochemical treatments should be given too in order to prevent further biological damages and remove the vegetation growing on the discontinuous planes.