Tag Archive for: arch

geosights-wall-arch-beforeDuring the night of August 4, 2008, Utah lost a popular giant when Wall Arch, a prominent arch along the Devils Garden Trail in Arches National Park, collapsed.

While not the largest or most famous arch in the park, Wall Arch was still a favorite due to its proximity to Landscape Arch along the always-busy trail. With a measured span of 55 feet, it was ranked as 12th largest in the park (some publications and Web sites give the span as 71 feet – this is actually the “breadth”, a dimension that is not useful for comparing arches).

While no arch lasts forever, it is still extremely rare to see such a dramatic example of “geology in action.” We do not have a good geologic tool for dating arch formation, but we are sure that Wall Arch had stood nearly unchanged for hundreds, and probably thousands of years.



landscape-arch1Does Utah have the biggest natural arch in the world? Yes. Sort of. Depends on your definition of “biggest”.

Mapping geologists with the Utah Geological Survey recently published an article in the May 2009 edition of Survey Notes that attempts to answer that question. “In nearly three decades of working in Utah’s geology, I have been asked many times, ‘What is the largest/longest/biggest arch in the world?'” says Grant Willis, article author and UGS mapping geologist. “For years I told people it was Landscape Arch in Arches National Park.”


Related Links

Natural Arch and Bridge Society Web site

Survey Notes- May 2009 article

Salt Lake Tribune article

Deseret News article

KSL.com article

survey-notes-cover-41_2UTAH’S NATURAL ROCK ARCHES

This issue contains:

*   What is the Biggest Natural Arch in the World?
*   Ancient Landslides of the Beaver Dam Mountains
*   Virtual Geologic Map Overlays
*   Energy News: Utah’s Renewable Energy Zone Assessment
*   GeoSights: Wall Arch—A Fallen Giant
*   Survey News
*   Teacher’s Corner
*   New Publications