Materiales de Construcción, Vol 41, No 222 (1991)

Macroscópical morphology of deterioration of the stone in the Cathedral of Almería/Spain

M. Alcalde
Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

A. Martin
Universidad de Sevilla, Spain


The prevailing winds in the area, associated with an important rising damp are the main natural factors of deterioration that affect the Cathedral of Almería. Certain unfortunate maintenance Jobs carried out as well as the bombardments and machine-gunning on the building during the Civil War can be indicated as anthropogenical factors of deterioration. The only lithotype used in the construction is a dolomitic limestone of high porosity from quarries near the city. The increase in volume in capillaries and interstices, related whith the presence of salts, and the dissolution, due to the great solubility of the natural magnesium salts which can produce dedolomitization of the stone, are the main deterioration mechanisms. This leads to indicators of deterioration with a typical morphology consisting of openings in all its manifestations (pitting, alveolar erosions and craters) especially on the high and low parts of the building where the wind and humidity, respectively, are more intense. The anthropogenical deterioration also has the shape of openings, such as the impact of bullets and obuses on the Southern facade and the grooves made for electric cables throughout the building. Diverse restorations have introduced tensions in the materials which have led to decohesions at different degrees (disaggregations, disintegrations and grain disgregations) in the interior of the temple and cloister.
The building is in a state of deterioration of a certain significance which essentially affects its esthetics. The speed in the degrading process observed in some areas calls for action for its maintenance.

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Copyright (c) 1991 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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