Weathering and Deterioration Diagnosis for Conservation Sciences of Stone Pagoda in the Bunhwangsa Temple,Gyeongju, Korea

경주 분황사 모전석탁의 암석학적 풍화와 보존과학적 훼손도 진단

  • Yi, Jeong-Eun (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju National University) ;
  • Lee, Chan-Hee (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju National University) ;
  • Lee, Myeong-Seong (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju National University) ;
  • Kim, Young-Taek (Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation Sciences, Kongju National University)
  • 이정은 (공주대학교 문화재보존과학과) ;
  • 이찬희 (공주대학교 문화재보존과학과) ;
  • 이명성 (공주대학교 문화재보존과학과) ;
  • 김영택 (공주대학교 문화재보존과학과)
  • Published : 2004.10.01


The host rocks of brick-shaped stone pagoda in the Bunhwangsa temple are lots of kinds andesitic rocks, which has gone through mechanical and chemical weathering. As the overall observation, the pagoda is serious damages by air pollutants, and the northeast parts show the much advanced state of turning white, while the southeast parts are heavily cracked in the materials. The rocks of brick-shaped pagoda body are in a relatively stable condition of weathering and damage except for the abrasion and cracks of the corners. The rocks of the pagoda roof suffer from more symptoms including multiple peel-offs, exfoliation, cracks forming round lines, and falling off stone pieces. The pagoda roof rocks are dominated by the thriving leafy lichens and mosses, especially, there are higher plants (selaginella involvens, dandelions) taking root actively between the brick stones and content mortar. There are even light gray precipitates like stalactites between the rocks of the body, In particular, the 1st and 2nd floor in the east side and the body parts in the north side are the most serious. Their major minerals are calcite, gypsum and clay minerals. The rocks of the stylobate and the tabernacle in all the four directions are composed mainly of granitic rocks. The materials consisting of the tabernacles show the severe splits and distortion, which causes the structural instability. The stylobate rocks are heavily contaminated by some weeds with the often marks of inorganic contamination by secondary hydroxides. The central part of the east stylobate has been sinking, while that of the 1st floor west stylobate is protruded nesting a line of cracks. Accordingly, the inside of the tabernacle is always humid with the constant introduction of rainwater. The stone lion standing in the southeast and northeast side are alkali granite, while that in the southwest and northwest lithic tuff. Each of the stone lion also coated with various colored lichens, mosses, algae, bacteria and bryophyte. The external materials of the pagoda have deteriorated the functions of the rocks and made the loss, falling off, and biological contamination even worse due to the surface weathering. Thus it's urgent to come up with scientific restoration and conservation measures through clinical tests.