To investigate the role of adsorption on elastic weakening, an experimental protocol is designed to measure elastic properties at standard T-P conditions under varying room Relative Humidity. A large dataset of clean limestone and sandstone samples is measured as to determine global trends.

It is shown that limestones are not affected by this adsorption phenomenon. On the reverse, sandstones show large elastic weakening from water adsorption. This weakening increases with the sample porosity and affects similarly P- and S-wave velocities.

Using the JKR theory, the measurements are understood in terms of surface energy variations from water adsorption. An existing model from provides a consistent interpretation of the results.


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