The accumulation of gypsum on carbonate stone has been investigated through exposure of fresh samples of limestone and marble at monitored sites, through examination of alteration crusts from old buildings and through laboratory experiments. Several factors contribute to gypsum accumulation on carbonate stone. Marble or limestone that is sheltered from direct washing by rain in an urban environment with elevated pollution levels is likely to accumulate a gypsum crust. Crust development may be enhanced if the stone is porous or has an irregular surface area. Gypsum crusts are a surficial alteration feature; gypsum crystals form at the pore opening-air interface, where evaporation is greatest.