January 2018 

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Volcanic Glass Reactions and Cementitious Mineral Cycling in Roman Marine Concrete

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Resource details

Resource ID

520

Access

Open

Contributed by

Admin User

Volume

50

Named person(s)

Marie D. Jackson

Date

08 January 18

Number

1

Abstract

Two thousand years ago, Romans constructed
concrete harbor structures through the
Mediterranean region using coarse volcanic tuff
and carbonate rock aggregate bound by a
volcanic ash–lime–seawater mortar. Roman
natural scientists described this mortar, including
pozzolanic reaction processes with hydrated lime
(Vitruvius, de Architectura 2.6.1-4) and water-rock
interactions with Campi Flegrei ash (Pliny the
Elder, Naturalis Historia 35.166). Cementing
mineral microstructures in ROMACONS concrete
drill cores from Baianus Sinus (Pozzuoli), Portus
Neronis (Anzio), and Portus Cosanus (Ortebello)
using synchroton-based X-ray microdiffraction,
high resolution SEM-EDS elemental mapping, and
Raman spectroscopy demonstrate that early
pozzolanic reactions in lime clasts produced Altobermorite,
a rare layered calcium-silicatehydrate
with cation-exchange properties for
radionuclides and heavy metals.

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