Special Issue "Geoscience of the Built Environment 2019 Edition"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Carlos Alves
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
LandS/Lab2PT-Landscapes, Heritage and Territory laboratory (FCT-AUR/04509) and Earth Sciences Department, School of Sciences, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: environmental geochemistry and mineralogy; natural stone durability; petrographic features and stone decay; salt weathering; porous media; weathering processes in the built environment; effects of pollutants on stone decay; stone decay as markers of pollution effects; conservation strategies for stone architectural heritage
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Following the success of the 2013 and 2016 editions (https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/geosciences/special_issues/built_environ and https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/geosciences/special_issues/geoscience-built-environment2016), it is my pleasure to invite again all interested researchers to contribute to a new Special Issue on the “Geoscience of the Built Environment”. We still consider it a hot topic, showing that geosciences are a vibrant branch of research concerned not only with the great questions of the Earth but also with our immediate domestic surroundings (our tabletops, walls, leisure spaces). The geosciences are therefore of great interest to urban dwellers. This Special Issue concerns the relevance of geoscience for the human-modified environment, including (but not limited to) the subjects that are indicated in the following points.

  • Spatial analysis

Spatial analysis concerns the study of data with spatial information, which can be used in assessing distribution patterns of materials degradation, pollution related to anthropogenic and geogenic sources, and the susceptibility of the built environment to hazardous geophenomena, such as earthquakes and flooding. Spatial analysis is also useful in the planning of new structures in relation to the geological characteristics of the terrain.

  • Selection of Building Materials

This concerns masonry and carved stone, aggregates for mortars, concrete, and bituminous pavements and raw materials for the manufacture of other building materials, such as cement, bricks, tiles, and glass. The questions related to selection encompass the consideration of aesthetic features and the characteristics that influence the performance of the materials in the built environment, with respect to durability, energy efficiency, and pollution effects.

  • Weathering Processes

The same weathering processes that act on rock outcrops affect built environment surfaces. There are specificities related to the kind and contents of pollutants related to anthropogenic activities and with the geometrical configurations of the built elements (namely in relation to the circulation of polluting solutions and in the exposition to the climatic conditions), which result in weathering products involving the neoformation of substances or the cracking and erosion of the existing surface. The study of these processes requires observational studies (including the mapping of weathering products) and in situ and field characterizations of the weathering products (namely via non-destructive techniques).

  • Study Methods

This topic encompasses theoretical models applied to explain (and foresee) the evolution of the materials and the relation between the influencing factors. The topic concerns numerical simulations and procedures for simulations performed in either the laboratory or in the field, in relation to the simulation conditions and the morphology and size of the specimen and the confrontation of the results of these experimental studies and the features observed in the field.

  • Environmental Impact

This topic encompasses the pollution impact (including particles, gamma radiation, and radon) from materials applied in the built environment and as waste, and their impact on organisms and other materials, as well as the impact of the built surfaces on the energy budget of the surrounding environment.

  • Sustainability

The role of geosciences in sustainability assessments concerns the production of materials as well as the impact of these materials after emplacement in human structures and also to the interaction of these structures with geological conditions and processes.

  • Pollution Monitoring

This topic includes geologic materials used as passive monitors of organic and inorganic pollutants and in the retrospective dosimetry of radiation.

  • Historical Research

This topic includes historical uses of geological materials and their relation with economic and technological development, and also concerns the dating of built elements.

  • Conservation

This topic concerns the relevance of understanding the interactions between weathering processes and geologic materials, so as to further the conservation of cultural heritage.

  • Geosciences teaching

The built heritage can present illustrative cases of geological objects (both local and exogenous) as well as geological processes (or analogues of these objects and processes).

Dr. Carlos Alves

Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

• Engineering Geology
• Site investigation
• Spatial information systems
• Building materials
• Sustainability
• Natural radiation
• Characterization of weathering products
• Theoretical models
• Observational studies
• Experimental simulations
• Environmental impact
• Pollution monitoring
• Historical research
• Durability
• Conservation historical heritage
• Geosciences teaching

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Frost Resilience of Stabilized Earth Building Materials
Geosciences 2019, 9(8), 328; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geosciences9080328 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
Earth-based building materials are increasingly valued in green design for their low embodied energy, humidity-buffering ability, and thermal stability. These materials perform well in warm dry climates, but greater understanding of long-term durability is needed for successful adoption in colder and/or wetter climates. [...] Read more.
Earth-based building materials are increasingly valued in green design for their low embodied energy, humidity-buffering ability, and thermal stability. These materials perform well in warm dry climates, but greater understanding of long-term durability is needed for successful adoption in colder and/or wetter climates. The presence of stabilizers dramatically improves resistance to surface erosion from wind and rain, compared to unstabilized adobe and cob counterparts, and the influences of soil composition, fiber type, and diverse binders, on rain and wind surface erosion have been investigated in detail. Frost and freeze-thaw resistance, however, have been less well-studied, despite strong interest in stabilized earth materials in northern North America, Europe, and Asia. In particular, recent studies have relied on a widespread misunderstanding of the mechanism by which frost damage occurs in porous materials that will impede efforts to create valid models for material design and improvement. In addition, the influence of radiative thermal stresses on wall surfaces has been overlooked in favor of focus on ambient air temperatures. Here, we apply contemporary understanding of cracking by segregated ice growth to develop a macroscopic damage index that enables comparison between performance of different materials subject to different weather patterns. An examination of predicted damage patterns for two stabilized earth building materials and two conventional materials in twelve cities over two time periods reveals the dominant factors that govern frost vulnerability. We find that the frost resilience of earth building materials is comparable to that of the conventional materials we examined, and that assessments that neglect expected variations in water content by assuming full saturation are likely to yield misleading results. Over recent years, increased winter temperatures in several cities we examined predict reduced material vulnerability to frost damage, but we also find that accompanying increases in humidity levels have made some cities much more vulnerable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoscience of the Built Environment 2019 Edition)
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Article
Petrographic and Mechanical Characteristics of Concrete Produced by Different Type of Recycled Materials
Geosciences 2019, 9(6), 264; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geosciences9060264 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
This paper examined three different types of recycled materials, such as beer green glass, waste tile, and asphalt, which will be used in different mixtures in order to prepare concrete specimens and, more specifically, their effect on concrete strength and how the petrographic [...] Read more.
This paper examined three different types of recycled materials, such as beer green glass, waste tile, and asphalt, which will be used in different mixtures in order to prepare concrete specimens and, more specifically, their effect on concrete strength and how the petrographic characteristics of various recycled materials influenced the durability of C25/30 strength class concrete. Particular emphasis was placed on the effect of artificial microroughness of glassy and smooth surfaces of recycled materials on their final concrete strength. The concrete strength values do not show great variance, but their limited differences have been qualitatively interpreted by a new promising petrographic methodology, including the study of the surface texture of the used aggregate materials. Concretes are produced with constant volume proportions, workability, mixing, and curing conditions while using different sizes of each aggregate type. The aggregates were mixed both in dry and water saturated states in concretes. Concretes that are made by a mixture of beer green glass with quartz primer, as well as of tile with quartz primer, presented the optimum possible results of the compressive strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoscience of the Built Environment 2019 Edition)
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Article
Carbonate Neoformations on Modern Buildings and Engineering Structures in Tyumen City, Russia: Structural Features and Development Factors
Geosciences 2019, 9(3), 128; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geosciences9030128 - 14 Mar 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1249
Abstract
The paper presents the results of studying the development of calcite neoformations on the surfaces of modern buildings within the city of Tyumen. The objects of the study were carbonate crusts and stalactite-like bodies formed on the surfaces of five representative buildings in [...] Read more.
The paper presents the results of studying the development of calcite neoformations on the surfaces of modern buildings within the city of Tyumen. The objects of the study were carbonate crusts and stalactite-like bodies formed on the surfaces of five representative buildings in the city center. Research methods included visual diagnostics, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and semi-quantitative determination of the mineral composition by X-ray diffraction analysis. The results of the study show that calcite is the main component of all carbonate crusts, while other minerals were found in small quantities. The microscopic studies revealed the differences in morphology of crusts developing on horizontal and vertical surfaces. The mycelium of fungi (presumably of the Penicillium group), represented by filamentous and often hollow hyphae covered with calcite, as well as relics of bacterial colonies were found in all studied samples. It was noted that the mycelium forms the structural frame of carbonate crusts and stalactites. Studies have shown that the prokaryotic–eukaryotic communities are responsible for the high rate of the urban speleothem growth and play the main role in calcite precipitation at the initial stages of their development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geoscience of the Built Environment 2019 Edition)
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