Microclimate for Cultural Heritage - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780444632968, 9780444632982

Microclimate for Cultural Heritage

2nd Edition

Conservation, Restoration, and Maintenance of Indoor and Outdoor Monuments

Authors: Dario Camuffo
eBook ISBN: 9780444632982
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444632968
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 26th November 2013
Page Count: 560
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Microclimate for Cultural Heritage: Conservation and Restoration of Indoor and Outdoor Monuments, Second Edition, is a cutting-edge, theoretical, and practical handbook concerning microclimate, environmental factors, and conservation of cultural heritage. Although the focus is on cultural heritage objects, most of the theory and instrumental methodologies are common to other fields of application, such as atmospheric and environmental sciences.

Microclimate for Cultural Heritage, Second Edition, is a useful treatise on microphysics and a practical handbook for conservators and specialists in physics, chemistry, architecture, engineering, geology, and biology who work in the multidisciplinary field of the environment, and, in particular, in the conservation of works of art. Part I, devoted to applied theory, is a concise treatise on microphysics, which includes a survey on the basic ideas of environmental diagnosis and conservation. The second part of the book focuses on practical utilization, and shows in detail how field surveys should be performed, with many suggestions and examples, as well as some common errors to avoid.

Key Features

  • Presents updated scientific and technological findings based on the novel European standards on microclimate and cultural heritage
  • Includes the latest information on experimental research on environmental factors and their impact on materials, such as the behavior of water and its interactions with cultural heritage materials
  • Contains case studies of outdoor and indoor microclimate conditions and their effects, providing ideas for readers facing similar problems caused by heat, water, radiation, pollution, or air motions
  • Covers instruments and methods for practical applications to help readers understand, to observe and interpret observations, and avoid errors


cultural heritage conservationists, restorers, curators, environmental scientists, atmospheric scientists, chemists, physicists

Table of Contents

Preface to the First Edition (1998)

Preface to the Second Edition (2014)

Foreword to the First Edition (1998)

Reviews to the First Edition (1998)

Il Nuovo Cimento Vol. 22, no. 1, p. 121 (1999)

2 Studies in Conservation Vol. 45, no.2, p. 143 (2000)

3 Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 111, p. 309 (2002)




The Author

Part I: Atmospheric Physics Applied to Microclimate Analysis and Conservation

Chapter 1. Microclimate, Air and Temperature


1.1 Microclimate

1.2 Air, Water Vapour, Perfect and Real Gases

1.3 Temperature

1.4 Mechanisms of Temperature Degradation

1.5 Temperature in a Building, a Room

1.6 Temperature in a Showcase

1.7 Is it Possible to Combine People Comfort, Conservation Needs and Sustainability?

1.8 Monitoring Air Temperature to Study Air–Surface Interactions and for Environmental Diagnostics


Chapter 2A. Theoretical Grounds for Humidity


2A.1 Partial Pressure of Water Vapour

2A.2 Derivation of the Latent Heat

2A.3 Mixing Ratio of Water Vapour and Dry Air

2A.4 Specific Humidity

2A.5 Absolute Humidity

2A.6 Relative Humidity

2A.7 Dew Point: The Temperature of Condensation

2A.8 Frost Point: The Temperature of Freezing

2A.9 Wet Bulb Temperature: The Temperature of Evaporation

2A.10 The Psychrometric Chart


Chapter 2B. Humidity and Conservation


2B.1 Air–Surface Interactions and Environmental Diagnostics

2B.2 The Equilibrium Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes in Wood

2B.3 Mechanisms of Humidity Degradation in Paper and Parchment

2B.4 Biological Habitat

2B.5 Metals, Pipe Organs and Other Materials

2B.6 What is the Best Microclimate for Conservation? The European Standard EN15757: 2010

2B.7 Keeping Constant Relative Humidity in Rooms and Showcases

2B.8 Condensation on Cold Surfaces


Chapter 3. Parameters to Describe Air Masses and Vertical Motions


3.1 Equivalent Temperature

3.2 Adiabatic Gradients in Troposphere

3.3 Potential Temperature

3.4 Equivalent-Potential Temperature

3.5 Virtual Temperature


Further Reading

Chapter 4. Radiation and Light


4.1 The Emission of Radiation from Bodies and the Effects of the Absorbed Energy

4.2 Radiometric Temperature

4.3 Angular Distribution of Radiant Emission of Bodies

4.4 Attenuation of Light in the Atmosphere

4.5 Daily and Seasonal Cycles of Solar Radiation on a Surface

4.6 What is the Colour of Natural Light?

4.7 Exhibition Lighting and Electric Light Sources

4.8 Optical Filters and Optical Fibres

4.9 Deterioration of Works of Art Caused by Light


Further reading

Chapter 5. Physics of Drop Formation and Micropore Condensation


5.1 How a Curved Water Meniscus Changes the Equilibrium Vapour Tension

5.2 Derivation of the Kelvin Equation for Droplet Formation and Micropore Condensation

5.3 The Formation of Droplets in the Atmosphere: Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Nucleation

5.4 Bubbles

5.5 Micropore Condensation and Stone Weathering

5.6 Adsorption Isotherms

5.7 Freezing–Thawing Cycles


Chapter 6. Atmospheric Water and Stone Weathering


6.1 Acid Rain, Rainfall and Crusts

6.2 Mechanisms of Penetration of Rainwater and Evaporation

6.3 Evaporation from a Damp Monument

6.4 Capillary Suction

6.5 The Equilibrium Vapour Tension over a Solution

6.6 Climate Cycles, Sea Spray and Salt Damage

6.7 Some Common Errors that Should Be Avoided


Chapter 7. Atmospheric Stability and Pollutant Dispersion


7.1 Introduction

7.2 Vertical Temperature Gradients and Plume Behaviour

7.3 Effects Due to Topographic Horizontal Inhomogeneity

7.4 Urban Climate: Heat Island and Aerodynamic Disturbance

7.5 Dispersion and Transportation of Pollutants in a City

7.6 Wind Friction Near a Surface

7.7 Vertical Fluxes of Heat, Moisture and Momentum

7.8 Heat Balance at the Soil or the Monument Surface

7.9 Main Parameters Used in Measuring Atmospheric Stability and Turbulence

7.10 Plume Dispersion

7.11 Stability Classes to Evaluate Atmospheric Stability


Chapter 8. Dry Deposition of Airborne Particulate Matter: Mechanisms and Effects


8.1 Introduction

8.2 Random Walk and Brownian Diffusivity

8.3 Brownian Deposition

8.4 Thermophoresis

8.5 Diffusiophoresis

8.6 Stefan Flow

8.7 Gravitational Settling

8.8 Electrophoresis

8.9 Photophoresis

8.10 Aerodynamic Deposition: Inertial Impaction and Interception

8.11 Adhesion of Particles to Paintings or Other Surfaces

8.12 Vertical Distribution of Particles in Still Air and their Resuspension by Turbulence

8.13 How Soiling Develops

8.14 What is the Most Appropriate Heating and Air Conditioning System to Avoid Soiling?

8.15 Inappropriate Positioning of Paintings

8.16 Uplifting of Giant Particles and Wind Erosion

8.17 Kinetic Energy and Sand Blasting


Chapter 9. Consequences of the Maxwell–Boltzmann Distribution


9.1 The Maxwell–Boltzmann Equation and the Distribution of Molecules by Velocities

9.2 Thermal Emission of Bodies

9.3 The Arrhenius Equation

9.4 Saturation Pressure of Water Vapour in Air

9.5 Relative Humidity and Mutual Distance between H2O Molecules

9.6 The Liquid State and the Free H2O Molecules in it

9.7 The Raoult Law for Ideal Solutions

9.8 Ebullition and Freezing

9.9 An Additional Aspect of Relative Humidity

9.10 The Three Classes of Water Vapour

9.11 Conclusions


Part II: Performing Microclimate Field Surveys

Chapter 10. Introduction to Field Measurements


10.1 Weather Stations and Observations for Monument Conservation

10.2 Statistical Representation of the Data

10.3 Frequency of Observation

10.4 Length of Observation Period

10.5 Response Time of a Sensor

10.6 Drawing Air Temperature and Other Isolines


Chapter 11. Measuring Temperature


11.1 Measuring Air Temperature

11.2 Measuring Artwork Surface Temperature According to EN 15758: 2010


Chapter 12. Measuring Humidity


12.1 Measuring Air Humidity According to EN16242: 2012

12.2 Hygrometers

12.3 Calibrating Hygrometers

12.4 Measuring Heat and Moisture Exchanges between Air and Monuments

12.5 Measuring Moisture Content

12.6 Measuring Time of Wetness


Chapter 13. Measuring Wind and Indoor Air Motions


13.1 Measuring Wind Speed and Direction

13.2 Measuring Indoor Air Motions


Chapter 14. Measuring Rainfall and Wind-Borne Droplets


14.1 Precipitation Measurements

14.2 Precipitation on Monuments

14.3 Wet and Dry Deposition Samplers


Appendix 1. List of Fundamental Constants Met in This Book

Appendix 2. Summary of Key Equations to Calculate Humidity Variables


Appendix 3. Essential Glossary

Relevant Objects, Museums, Monuments etc Exemplified in Figures























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About the Author

Dario Camuffo

Physicist. From 1969 at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, where his last position was Research Director. He retired in 2008, he now continues research and teaching as emeritus Associate. Since 1979, he has been lecturer of Environmental Physics and Physics for Conservation at the University of Padua, the Cignaroli Academy of Fine Arts, Verona, the Polytechnic of Milan. For ten years, he was the Co- Director of the European Doctoral Course “Sciences and Materials of the Cultural Heritage”, of the European University Centre for Cultural Heritage, Ravello. His activities are mainly devoted to atmospheric physics applied to the conservation of the cultural heritage and to climate change. He has recovered and studied the earliest regular observations of the Medici Network (1654-1670) and a number of long-term instrumental series starting from the early 17th century. Similarly with written documentary proxies (e.g. chronicles, annals) over the last millennium: he reads fluent Latin, the official language of the Middle Ages and the language of scientific literature up to the French Revolution, Italian, French, English, Spanish, and ancient Greek. The possibility of reading original documents and books is very helpful in recovering data, but also in the interpretation of old recipes or scientific writings. He analyzed the sea level rise in Venice, over the last 500 years after the algae belt marked on the paintings by Canaletto, Bellotto and Veronese, who reproduced precise details with the help of a camera obscura. He was requested by the Holy Father John Paul II to improve the microclimate of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and appointed by UNESCO for the Great Sphinx and Pyramid Plateau, Egypt, Thracian Tombs, the city of Nassebur and the Madara Rider, Bulgaria, all included in the World List of Cultural Heritage (WLCH). He also studied the Leonardo's Last Supper, Milan; the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; the Louvre and the Orangerie Museum, Paris; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the Orvieto Cathedral, and many other monuments. Active in standardization for cultural heritage, convenor of two working teams of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage, and vice-president of UNI-Normal (Italian Standardization Body). Member of various international scientific committees (e.g. European Commission, UNESCO, U.S. NAPAP) on the conservation of works of art, environment and climate. He wrote over 300 scientific papers and some books. He leaded many research projects, some fifteen of them funded by the European Commission Directorate General Research and Innovation, and the European Science Foundation (COST).

Affiliations and Expertise

National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Padua, Italy