Piperno from Campi Flegrei: A relevant stone in the historical and monumental heritage of Naples (Italy)

  • Calcaterra D
  • Langella A
  • De Gennaro R
 et al. 
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This paper reports novel data concerning the volcanic formation of the Piperno, a stone that has been used for a long time in the monumental architecture of Naples and the Campanian region (Southern Italy). A careful field survey of the outcrops or underground sites so far accessible allowed us to draw a lithostratigraphic reconstruction of the formation and enabled the recognition of the three main layers exploited in past centuries and which provided dimension stones for architectural and structural purposes. Petrophysical and mineralogical characterization also enabled us to discriminate the same layers previously identified. Different scoriae/matrix ratio, scoriae dimension and welding degree are the most peculiar features of these horizons. The combination of these three parameters, even though they did not affect the use of Piperno as dimension stone, somehow determined its variable susceptibility to the weathering agents. However, a linear relationship between the exposure time and the decay of the stone itself, at a parity of weathering intensity, was not observed. This assumption was proved by verifying that the specific layers of the volcanic sequence controlled the weathering degree of Piperno from monuments disregarding their age of emplacement.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Campi Flegrei
  • Italy
  • Laboratory tests
  • Petrophysical properties
  • Piperno
  • Weathering

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  • Domenico Calcaterra

  • Alessio Langella

  • Roberto De Gennaro

  • Maurizio De'Gennaro

  • Piergiulio Cappelletti

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