Black crusts on travertine: Factors controlling development and stability

Research output: Article

40 Citations (Scopus)


The travertine buildings of Budapest show extensive black crust formation, which is related to high concentration of atmospheric pollution and a continental climate. Laminar black crusts, framboidal black crusts and leached white surfaces are compared. Physical properties (Schmidt hammer rebound, Duroscope rebound), mineralogical composition and elemental composition are measured. Framboidal black crusts contain more than 50% of acicular gypsum. The crust surface displays idiomorphic rosette-like gypsum crystals with particulates, calcite and gypsum crystal aggregates. The sulphur isotopic composition of the black crusts pinpoints the involvement of rain and dust in crust formation. Thick framboidal black crust has the lowest strength while thin laminar black crust and white dissolved surfaces show minor decrease in surface strength compared to unaltered travertine. The crusts adhere to the travertine surface and rarely show mechanical decay forms that are typical features of porous limestone ashlars in Budapest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-594
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Soil Science

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