Geology of Natural Arches

A study in Nature Geosciences that came out recently delves into the geology of how natural sandstone arches form.

Landscape Arch in Arches, NP (Moab, UT)
Landscape Arch in Arches NP (Moab, UT)

Once thought to be sculpted by wind and rain, the scientists on the study have found that the shape is “inherent to the rock itself.”

Pine Tree Arch: Arches National Park (Moab, UT)
Pine Tree Arch: Arches NP (Moab, UT)

So, basically, this means that when erosion occurs and parts of the cliff or rock are eroded away, the remaining sand grains “glue” together to prevent the rock from eroding any further. This makes the remaining rock more resistant to further erosion from environmental factors like wind and rain.

Arches, NP (Moab, UT)
Friends in Arches NP (Moab, UT)

To explain it better, click-through for a video representation of the research!

Rocks are pretty fascinating. And let’s be honest, this post also about my chance to plug more of my arch pictures from my trip to Utah! Enjoy!

Me being silly, as always. Overlooking Arches NP.
Me being silly, as always. Overlooking Arches NP.
Mesa Arch: Canyonlands National Park (Moab, UT)
Mesa Arch: Canyonlands National Park (Moab, UT)
Obligatory Delicate Arch photo!
Obligatory Delicate Arch photo!
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