Rock temperatures as an indicator of weathering processes affecting rock art

  • Hœrlé S
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To aid rock art conservation, rock temperatures have been monitored at different depths and at low (30 min) and high (1 min) acquisition rates in a painted rock shelter in teh uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park (South Africa). Preliminary data for winter (cold and dry) show that in that season cryoclasty is unlikely to occur (rare subzero thermal events and probable reduced moisture availability) and thermal shocks are improbable (highest measured deltaT/delta t < 2 degC/min). High amplitude (about 30 degC) rock temperature cycles accompanied by reversals of the thermal gradient have been observed to occur almost daily and hint at the possibility of thermal stress fatigue.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Rock art
  • Rock temperature
  • Weathering

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  • Stéphane Hœrlé

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