Arches National Park is a national park located in eastern Utah, United States. The park is right besides the Colorado River and near the small city of Moab, Utah. There are more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches located in the park, including the well-known Delicate Arch (unfortunately not included with the images), as well as a variety of unique geological resources and formations. The park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world.
Estimated Geographical Location: 38.676445, -109.582996
The national park lies above an underground salt bed, which is the main cause of the formation of the arches, spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, and eroded monoliths in the area. This salt bed is thousands of feet thick in places, and was deposited in the Paradox Basin of the Colorado Plateau some 300 million years ago when a sea flowed into the region and eventually evaporated. Over millions of years, the salt bed was covered with debris eroded from the Uncompahgre Uplift to the northeast. During the Early Jurassic period, desert conditions prevailed in the region and the vast Navajo Sandstone was deposited. An additional sequence of stream-laid and windblown sediments, the Entrada Sandstone (about 140 million years ago), was deposited on top of the Navajo. Over 5,000 feet (1,500 m) of younger sediments were deposited and have been mostly eroded away. Remnants of the cover exist in the area including exposures of the Cretaceous Mancos Shale. The arches of the area are developed mostly within the Entrada formation.
There are a number of wildlife creatures that thrive in the park. The list includes: spadefoot toad, antelope squirrel, scrub jay, peregrine falcon, many kinds of sparrows, red fox, desert bighorn sheep, kangaroo rat, mule deer, cougar, midget faded rattlesnake, yucca moth, western rattlesnake, and the collared lizard. Unfortunately, our images does not include any wildlife creatures.
A lot of plants also thrive on the landscape in the park. The list of plants includes: prickly pear cactus, Indian ricegrass, bunch grasses, cheatgrass, lichen, moss, liverworts, Utah juniper, Mormon tea, blackbrush, cliffrose, four-winged saltbrush, pinyon pine, evening primrose, sand verbena, yucca, and sacred datura. Unfortunately, our images does not include any plants in the park.
Biological soil crust consisting of cyanobacteria, lichen, mosses, green algae, and micro-fungi is found throughout southeastern Utah. The fibrous growths help keep soil particles together, creating a layer that is more resistant to erosion. The living soil layer readily absorbs and stores water, allowing more complex forms of plant life to grow in places with low precipitation levels.
Below are the rest of the images taken from the Arches National Park.
Images owned by Chromoscience.