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    Saturday, August 16, 2008

     

    Wall Arch Collapses in Arches National Park

    Iconic stone arch collapses in southern Utah park

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/arch_collapses

    By MIKE STARK, Associated Press Writer Sun Aug 10, 3:26 PM ET

    ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, Utah - One of the largest and most photographed arches in Arches National Park has collapsed.

    This image provided by the National Parks Service taken Tuesday ...
    AP
    Sun Aug 10, 5:32 AM ET

    This image provided by the National Parks Service taken Tuesday Aug. 5, 2008 shows the collapsed Wall Arch. One of the largest and most visible arches in Arches National Park collapsed according to park officials. Paul Henderson, the park's chief of interpretation, said Wall Arch collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday. The arch is along Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park. For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers. Henderson said the arch was claimed by forces that will eventually destroy others in the park: gravity and erosion.

    (AP Photo/National Parks Service)

    This undated image provided by the National Parks Service shows the Wall Arch prior to it's collapse Monday Aug, 4, 2008. One of the largest and most visible arches in Arches National Park collapsed according to park officials. (AP Photo/National Parks Service) Collapse

    Paul Henderson, the park's chief of interpretation, said Wall Arch collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday.

    The arch is along Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park. For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers.

    Henderson said the arch was claimed by forces that will eventually destroy others in the park: gravity and erosion.

    "They all let go after a while," he said Friday.

    He said it's the first collapse of a major arch in the park since nearby Landscape Arch fell in 1991. No one has reported seeing it fall.

    Like others in the park, Wall Arch was formed by entrada sandstone that was whittled down over time into its distinctive and photogenic formation.

    The arch, first reported and named in 1948, was more than 33 feet tall and 71 feet across. It ranked 12th in size among the park's estimated 2,000 arches.

    Rock has continued to fall from the remaining arms of the arch forcing the closure of a portion of the trail.

    Officials from the National Park Service and the Utah Geological Survey visited the site Thursday, noting stress fractures in the remaining formation. The trail won't be opened until the debris is cleared away and it's safe for visitors, Henderson said.


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