Salem limestone samples were exposed to weathering for 1 y in several urban and one rural environments. Samples exposed in the rural location were chemically indistinguishable from the freshly quarried limestone, whereas all samples collected from urban exposure sites developed gypsum stains on the ground-facing surfaces where the stones were not washed by precipitation. The gas-solid reaction of SO//2 with calcite was selected for detailed consideration. It appears from the model that under arid conditions, the quantity of stain deposited on an unwashed surface is independent of atmospheric SO//2 concentration once the surface has been saturated with gypsum. Under wet conditions, surface sulfation and weight loss are probably dominated by mechanisms involving wet stone. However, if the rain events are frequent and delimited by periods of dryness, the quantity of gypsum produced by a gas-solid reaction mechanism should correlate with both the frequency of rain events and the atmospheric SO//2 level.
Additional publication details
EFFECT OF AN ACID RAIN ENVIRONMENT ON LIMESTONE SURFACES.