The EarthTrek Gravestone Project

Raindrops consist of more than simply water. In addition to the little fragments of dust around which water drops form, raindrops could contain chemicals located in the atmosphere. Usually rainfall is slightly acidic. This “acid rainfall” could chemically influence (weather condition) materials it touches. The amount of erosion differs from place to place and also varies gradually.


Marble, a stone generally used to make tombstones, is mainly composed of the mineral calcite. Because calcite is a carbonate mineral, it reacts with any type of acid, including weak rains acids. In time, for that reason, marble headstones gradually wear away. The erosion rates of gravestones reveal distinctions in the level of acidity of rains between areas and with time, as a result of aspects such as contamination and also adjustments in climate.

The Gravestone Project, part of the global citizen science program called EarthTrek, is looking for volunteers to see cemeteries worldwide and accumulate scientific data on just how marble tombstones are weathering.


Markers (outdoors).
Computer with Net connection.


Utilizing calipers that you can buy at hardware shops, you can determine the weathering of marble tombstones in two methods. The very first way is by measuring the thickness of the tombstone, on top, along the side, and also near the bottom. If the gravestone originally had an uniform thickness, you could view modifications in thickness due to surviving gradually.
The 2nd means makes use of marble gravestones that were made by putting lead into the carved letters and also polishing them flat. Due to the fact that spearhead does not survive as promptly as marble, you could measure the range in between the marble as well as the lead.

Once you accumulate as well as report the weathering information, researchers could utilize this information to create a weathering map of the globe. This map indicates just how weathering rates of marble gravestones differ from area to area as well as vary with time.

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