The mechanical and chemical effects of lichens on the outer and inner surfaces of tafoni features were investigated through a multidisciplinary approach at two locations (Oasi 74°42'S, 164°07'E, 40-250 m a.s.l.; Mount Keinath, 74°32'S; 163°58'E; 850 m a.s.l.) close to the Italian Antarctic station (Mario Zucchelli). Outer tafoni roof surfaces show low values of effective porosity coupled with pervasive hyphal penetration and an extensive reddish-brown weathering rind. Inner tafoni surfaces show higher values of effective porosity, which correspond with an almost absent weathering rind and low hyphal penetration. Our observations indicate that: (a) iron oxy-hydroxides, particularly concentrated where hyphal patches and bundles contact biotite, consist of hematite; (b) the microcosms of lichen hyphae and their precipitates fill voids to form case hardening on outer surfaces; and (c) on inner surfaces biological action is less active, most likely because of more intense thermal stress and salt action.

Role of lichens in granite weathering in cold and arid environments of continental Antarctica

GUGLIELMIN, MAURO;CANNONE, NICOLETTA;
2011

Abstract

The mechanical and chemical effects of lichens on the outer and inner surfaces of tafoni features were investigated through a multidisciplinary approach at two locations (Oasi 74°42'S, 164°07'E, 40-250 m a.s.l.; Mount Keinath, 74°32'S; 163°58'E; 850 m a.s.l.) close to the Italian Antarctic station (Mario Zucchelli). Outer tafoni roof surfaces show low values of effective porosity coupled with pervasive hyphal penetration and an extensive reddish-brown weathering rind. Inner tafoni surfaces show higher values of effective porosity, which correspond with an almost absent weathering rind and low hyphal penetration. Our observations indicate that: (a) iron oxy-hydroxides, particularly concentrated where hyphal patches and bundles contact biotite, consist of hematite; (b) the microcosms of lichen hyphae and their precipitates fill voids to form case hardening on outer surfaces; and (c) on inner surfaces biological action is less active, most likely because of more intense thermal stress and salt action.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11383/1786939
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