Urban Climatology Applied to the Deterioration of the Pisa Leaning Tower, Italy
Among the peculiarities of the urban climatology, a relevant one concerns the interactions with monuments, which include stone weathering, deposition and removal of airborne pollutants. In order to know more about the case of the Pisa Leaning Tower, Italy, a field survey has been made for one year, measuring the microclimate interacting with the structure, the vertical temperature and humidity profiles, the Tower surface temperature at different locations and the concentration of particles in air. Also more general information was collected studying the meteorological parameters in the area of Pisa. The correlation between rainfalls and wind evidenced that the windborne droplets arrive from preferential directions, determined on the regional scale by the sea shore on the west (sea breeze) and the channelling operated by the valley of the Arno river on the west. The tilting of the Tower gives a natural shield to the southern part, which is hardly washed by rainfall. The complex balance between airborne particulate matter deposition, tower tilting, rainfall washout and surface runoff determines the pattern of the black crusts which disfigure the elegance of this historical building. The land and sea breezes transport air with different moisture content, and the urban heat island accentuates the mid day drop on relative humidity, determining condensation-evaporation cycles in the stone micropores. The urban climatology of Pisa and the interactions with the Leaning Tower are discussed in view of the conservation of this monument.
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