Vol. 33 pp.399 - 416.

Ultrasonic Properties on Building Stones, Characteristics of Structural Deformation and Conservation States of the Sanctuary in Wat Phou Temple of Champasak, Lao PDR


The ‘Wat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape' of Laos was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2001. The uppermost structure of the Sanctuary in Wat Phou has been destroyed and being variably damaged, maintenance is required through scientific and systematic diagnosis. The Sanctuary of Wat Phou was constructed mainly using sandstones and bricks. There are physical damages including fracture, break out, exfoliation and interval as well as biological damages by lichen, mosses and weeds. According to the ultrasonic velocity measurement and property evaluation of the sandstones of the Sanctuary in Wat Phou, weathering index of the eastern side sandstones is 0.10 to 0.74 (mean 0.36), showing MW grade. Southern and northern side sandstones have relatively higher properties with average weathering indices of 0.30 and 0.32. The results of slope analysis of the Sanctuary, indicated that the 4th spot in the southern side has the largest slope of 5°W, seemingly due to the unstable ground around the Sanctuary. Based on the relative level measurement and past drawings, the Sanctuary is verified to have been located on ground with a certain slope rather than flatland. The ground of the southern side is inclined 1.51° more than that of the northern side, which will affect the structural stability of the temple. The interval width of the selected southern spot is the largest with an average width of 159.5 mm, and the largest width is 328.3 mm at the top, since the width increases above rather than below, seemingly due to the unequal subsidence of the ground. Constant maintenance for conservation is required for the structural stability of the Sanctuary in Wat Phou, which was partly collapsed and has also suffered physical damage.

:: Volume.33 No.6 December 2017 ::