Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 85, Issue 4, pp 2679–2685 | Cite as

Laboratory study of SO2 dry deposition on limestone and marble: Effects of humidity and surface variables

  • E. C. Spiker
  • R. P. HoskerJr.
  • V. C. Weintraub
  • S. I. Sherwood
Part VII Air Pollution Effects on Materials


The dry deposition of gaseous air pollutants on stone and other materials is influenced by atmospheric processes and the chemical characteristics of the deposited gas species and of the specific receptor material. Previous studies have shown that relative humidity, surface moisture, and acid buffering capability of the receptor surface are very important factors. To better quantify this behavior, a special recirculating wind tunnel/environmental chamber was constructed, in which wind speed, turbulence, air temperature, relative humidity, and concentrations of several pollutants (SO2, O3, nitrogen oxides) can be held constant. An airfoil sample holder holds up to eight stone samples (3.8 cm in diameter and 1 cm thick) in nearly identical exposure conditions. SO2 deposition on limestone was found to increase exponentially with increasing relative humidity (RH). Marble behaves similarly, but with a much lower deposition rate. Trends indicate there is little deposition below 20% RH on clean limestone and below 60% RH on clean marble. This large difference is due to the limestone's greater porosity, surface roughness, and effective surface area. These results indicate surface variables generally limit SO2 deposition below about 70% RH on limestone and below at least 95% RH on marble. Aerodynamic variables generally limit deposition at higher relative humidity or when the surface is wet.

Key words

Dry deposition sulfur dioxide chamber wind tunnel corrosion limestone marble humidity moisture 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. C. Spiker
    • 1
  • R. P. HoskerJr.
    • 2
  • V. C. Weintraub
    • 1
  • S. I. Sherwood
    • 3
  1. 1.U.S. Geological Survey956 National CenterRestonUSA
  2. 2.U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric AdministrationOak RidgeUSA
  3. 3.U.S. National Park ServiceWashington, D.C.USA

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