Environmental Geology

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 197–204 | Cite as

Geochemical characteristics of surface efflorescence on the seventh century stone pagoda in Republic of Korea

  • Dong Sik Lee
  • Chan Hee Lee
  • Jiyoung Kim
  • Hee Jae Yang
Original Article


This study presents detailed description and geochemical characteristics of the efflorescence caused by interaction of water and the concrete on the surface of the seventh granitic stone pagoda in Republic of Korea. The pagoda comprised light gray medium-grained biotite granite with partial porphyritic texture, and it has been repaired for the destroyed parts using concrete in the 1910s. The surface of the pagoda was found to be contaminated by efflorescence at present. As a result of the study, the efflorescence is more concentrated within the areas of water pathway and the northern faces, and in the time of winter season. The efflorescent pollutants were mainly composed of carbonates. Through the extraction experiment, inorganic components of the efflorescence were quantitatively analyzed and discussed for an application with regard to the surface cleaning. The cleaning solvent with pH 6.2 is more effective than pH 5.0 to remove the efflorescent pollutants in general, however, the pH 5.0 solvent showed better results only for anions. Cleaning using chemical agents should be conducted only for small spots with sufficient water washing. And the cleaning effectiveness shows the maximum with the duration of 1 h in which soluble elements dissolve in the solvent the most.


Efflorescence Extraction experiment Salt decay Mireuksaji stone pagoda 



This study was supported by the Research and Development Budget of National Research Institute of Cultural Properties in Korea (NRICP) and in part of Star Project of Kongju National University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dong Sik Lee
    • 2
  • Chan Hee Lee
    • 1
  • Jiyoung Kim
    • 1
  • Hee Jae Yang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cultural Heritage Conservation SciencesKongju National UniversityGongjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Iksan Mireuksaji Stone Pagoda Conservation TeamNational Research Institute of Cultural HeritagesIksanRepublic of Korea

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