Thursday, October 24, 2013

Many arches and natural bridges likely from the Flood

by Michael J. Oard

Freestanding rock arches and large natural bridges are observed to collapse today, such as Wall Arch in Arches National Park in early August 2008. The formation of large arches and natural bridges from slow weathering and erosion would take tens of thousand of years. However, the uniformitarian hypotheses for their origin are not observed. A rapid process of erosion in the past consistent with the Retreating Stage of the Flood is more likely.

National Park Service photo

Wall Arch after the collapse.

Figure 1. Location of Wall Arch after collapse.

One of the most photographed free standing arches in Arches National Park, Wall Arch, in southeast Utah, USA, collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday of August 4th and 5th , 2008 (figure 1). No one reported seeing it collapse. The arch is located along the popular Devils Garden Trail and was more than 10 m (33 ft) tall and spanned 22 m (71 ft) across before collapse (figure 2). It was the 12th largest arch of the estimated 2,000 arches in Arches National Park. The collapse of such arches provides evidence that long free standing arches and many tall natural bridges likely formed rapidly during the Flood.

Rock arches

Arches come in all sizes. They range from Landscape Arch in Arches National Park, the longest in the world, with a span of 88 m (290 ft) to small holes. The large ones are high enough to contain the Capitol building in Washington D.C. The small holes are called windows in Bryce Canyon National Park (figure 3). Such windows could form rapidly by weathering of the soft strata.

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