Rock deterioration in the masonry walls of the Cathedral Basilica of Aguascalientes, Mexico

Raudel Padilla-Ceniceros, Jesús Pacheco-Martínez, Rubén Alfonso López-Doncel, Edith Estefanía Orenday-Tapia


High porosity volcanic tuffs were used to elaborate the masonry of the walls of the Cathedral of Aguascalientes City, at central México. At present, masonry stones show evidences of deterioration, mainly in the lower part of the walls outside the building due to a raising moisture effect and environmental pollution which are causing damages such as flaking, scaling and black crusts. Petrological studies including X-Ray diffractometry and petrophysical analysis as porosity, density and bulk-density determinations as well stone damages survey were carried out to get information on the used rock types to elaborate the masonry walls, their petrological characteristics and physical harms. No compresional testings were developed due to scarse of stone samples, but there are reported data for these stones by others authors. The results allow to identify the stone type most prone to deteriorate, the mechanism of stone deterioration, and the factors accelerating deterioration. Although results have a pragmatic use for restoration works of the Cathedral of Aguascalientes City, the methodology applied could be used for determining the stone vulnerability to deteriorate in heritage buildings anywhere abroad.


tuff rock; moisture properties; cultural heritage; Aguascalientes; Mexico

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