What are the next first steps to be taken? We suggest:


 

1) To form databases:

  of  research results
  of  pertinent references 
  of  existing (also finished) research projects
  of  people known to perform research in weathering
Below you can find the proposed preliminary structure of databases to be maintained at the IGCP 405 home page (http://www.sci.muni.cz/~sulovsky/igcp405.html):

A. Thermodynamic properties of minerals and related substances

at ambient conditions i.e. mostly at  298,15 K and 1 bar pressure 
(particularly those included in weathering reactions):

Reference
Formula
Enthalpy
Gibbs function
Entropy
Mineralogical name 


B. Rate constants of weathering reactions:

  Rate constants of dissolution, disintegration, degradation
  Rate constants of secondary products formation  

Conditions
Units
Rate constant
Reaction scheme 
 Rock, mineral 
Reference

   (further information can be included)

C. Literature-references:

  General references and bibliography
  Specific references
          Thermodynamics properties of minerals and related substances
          Thermodynamic modelling of weathering systems
          Dynamics of weathering processes
                Physical processes
                Chemical processes
          Global cycles of elements and species
          Mass balance in weathering systems
          Ground-, fresh- and sea-water pollution
          Atmosphere pollution
          Weathering of lithic building materials
          Weathering of inorganic materials
          Conservation of lithic monuments and decorative objects

The first version of the references database is accessible here.

D. Institutions World-wide

· Laboratory facilities - analytical:
	Bulk methods
	Microanalytical techniques
	Surface analysis
	Physical properties 
· Laboratory facilities - dissolution experiments etc
· Vacancies:
        Academic positions
        Post-doctoral fellowships
        Graduate and postgraduate studentships

E. Projects

  	Finished
  	Ongoing

F. Conferences (world, regional)


G. Companies


The above databases will be made accessible on the Internet as a World Wide Web hypertext documents with the write (submit) option, so that anybody would be able to supply them with data. Aside the "virtual" databases, a "physical" library, i.e. collection of research reports, printed articles and books might arise, serving for circulation of these resources among the project community. The success of this action will depend on the goodwill of authors supplying their works. We are delighted to thank several participants who have already sent their contribution (H. Sverdrup, C. Bűhmann, R. Kűhnel, and others).

2) Identify the leading project topics.

The area covered by IGCP 405 thematic definition - Anthropogenic impact on weathering processes - is still very broad. We suggest to focus at the beginning on several, more specific topics. Their eventual selection depends upon the research interests of people who agree to participate in the project - mainly in the sense of sharing their experience, results, facilities, organising skills etc., with the other. In this respect, our key questions are:

Less generally: the initial project proposal distributed was intentionally formulated rather broadly. The actual returns can be classified in several thematic areas. Those with the highest response level are:

  1. weathering of building materials lies in the focus of interest of about 35% respondents. This topic involves principally laboratory experiments with chemical weathering of rock-forming minerals and rocks used for these purposes (Parsons), determinations of weathering rates (Sverdrup), identification of weathering paths (Tazake, Veniale, Sulovsky), problems of microbial weathering (Krumbein, Tazake, Bulach), selection of testing methods best suitable for prediction of building stone persistence (Kűhnel), various non-specific field observations (Mordberg, Michalik, and many others)
  2. weathering of natural and artificial materials as a source of environmental pollution. The responses concerned the theme of acid mine drainage (Pašava, Zentili, Mejeed, Pačes and many others), weathering of ore minerals (Zeman, Križáni), of mine dumps, leaching behaviour of slags, fly ash, incinerator ash etc. (Rammelmair, Kersten, Dolenec, Sulovský).
  3. soil weathering etc. (MLURI, Chinese group, Gallardo, and many others)