Special Issue "Rock Cycle and Rock Properties"


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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Carlos Alves

Lab2PT, Landscape, Heritage and Territory Laboratory (research unit of the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) and CIG-R, Centre of Geological Research, Management and Valorisation of Resources (School of Sciences), Campus de Gualtar, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Fax: +351253678206
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

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I seek your collaboration on a Special Issue concerning how geological processes affect rock properties and hence impact the built environment.

The idea of a rock cycle can be considered part of the foundational concepts of modern Geology and to be contained in the famous phrase of James Hutton: “We find no vestige of a beginning—we see no prospect of an end” (see Theory of the Earth, Volume 1 (of 4), by James Hutton, available at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12861/12861-h/12861-h.htm).

A rock cycle is seen here as including everything that has influenced the present state of the rocks, such as deformation processes and alterations related to hydrothermal and weathering phenomena. This Special Issue focuses on the relations between rock cycle processes and the characteristics and properties of the rocks and hence their properties and behavior in the built environment. It is hoped that this Special Issue contributes to the search of bridges between basic petrological research and the more applied perspectives of the geosciences.

In this issue we will like to consider how rock genesis and evolution affect the role of rock massifs in Engineering works when construction of built environments is initiated. Questions related to massif recognition (how geophysical measurements relate to petrological features), excavation (namely the effects of alterations) and stability (such as the influence of joint coatings on friction angles) will be relevant.

Rock characteristics affect the properties of geologic materials used in the built environment as such (e.g. building stones) and in combination with other materials (e.g., aggregates), conditioning their behavior and durability. Several properties can be relevant, such as mechanical strength (e.g., tensile strength), density (which is relevant for lightweight aggregates), water absorption (which influences pollutant penetration and migration, as well as materials decay) and specific surface (which affects chemical reactivity). Rock material properties (including color and workability) can also lend certain rocks cultural significance, should such properties become associated with a their use in the cultural heritage and could be considered further in replacement operations.

As was proposed previously in Geosciences (Special Issue “Geoscience of the Built Environment”) the same weathering processes that act on rock outcrops continue to act on the stony materials placed on the built environment. Consequently, geological materials experience transformations that can be considered deleterious.

In light of the above, this Special Issue invites papers that investigate the relationship of stony materials’ present day characteristics with the geological past of such materials. Research on susceptibility of various rocks’ to organic and inorganic pollutants will also be useful. Knowledge on these topics can have broader social implications on issues, such as construction industry sustainability and the conservation of cultural heritage. The study of the variations of rock properties will also be relevant for surveying built works (namely in the context of non-destructive testing).

Finally, geological processes also affect the properties of geologic materials that are relevant to other uses in the built environment, such as environmental protection and remediation. Such properties include specific surface and metal retention. Contributions on these topics will be desirable as well.

Dr. Carlos Alves
Guest Editor


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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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 quarterly 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 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • petrogenesis
  • deformation
  • anisotropy
  • alteration
  • weathering
  • heterogeneity
  • petrophysics
  • geophysics
  • engineering geology
  • built environment, materials, durability
  • cultural heritage, conservation and restoration

Published Papers

No papers have been published in this special issue yet.

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