Hi everyone! We're hard at work trying to keep our community clean, so if you see any spam, please report it here and we'll review ASAP!  Thanks a million!
8,819 Users Online
  • 1,696,349 Wallpapers
  • 1,565,068 Members
  • 12,971,712 Votes
  • 5,965,287 Favorites

Natural Arches

A natural arch, natural bridge, or (less commonly) rock arch is a natural rock formation where an arch has formed with an opening underneath. Natural arches commonly form where inland cliffs, coastal cliffs, fins or stacks are subject to erosion from the sea, rivers or weathering (subaerial processes).
Most natural arches are formed from narrow fins and sea stacks composed of sandstone or limestone with steep, often vertical, cliff faces. The formations become narrower due to erosion over geologic time scales. The softer rock stratum erodes away creating rock shelters, or alcoves, on opposite sides of the formation beneath the relatively harder stratum, or caprock, above it. The alcoves erode further into the formation eventually meeting underneath the harder caprock layer, thus creating an arch. The erosional processes exploit weaknesses in the softer rock layers making cracks larger and removing material more quickly than the caprock; however, the caprock itself continues to erode after an arch has formed, which will ultimately lead to collapse.

Group Information

Last Activity: 2 Months Ago
Group Leader: gundega
Moderators: None
Submissions: Open
Group Visitors: 8,965
Founded: September 29th, 2018

Top Contributors

Recently Active Members

Recently Joined Members


Recently Added Wallpapers

Stone Arch and Moon
Stone Arch and MoonUploaded by: gundega
Date Uploaded: 6/27/23
Resolution: 2048x1280
Downloads: 65
Comments: 0
Favorited: 1
Points: +4
Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park, UtahUploaded by: gundega
Date Uploaded: 5/2/22
Resolution: 1639x1024
Downloads: 60
Comments: 1
Favorited: 3
Points: +5
Sunset in Utah, USA
Sunset in Utah, USAUploaded by: gundega
Date Uploaded: 3/21/22
Resolution: 1440x900
Downloads: 15
Comments: 1
Favorited: 2
Points: +3
Moon and Stone Arch
Moon and Stone ArchUploaded by: gundega
Date Uploaded: 9/8/21
Resolution: 4915x3072
Downloads: 23
Comments: 0
Favorited: 2
Points: +5
Coast of Spain
Coast of SpainUploaded by: gundega
Date Uploaded: 4/29/20
Resolution: 2304x1440
Downloads: 72
Comments: 0
Favorited: 1
Points: +2
The Double Arch
The Double ArchUploaded by: gundega
Date Uploaded: 4/15/20
Resolution: 2034x1271
Downloads: 81
Comments: 0
Favorited: 2
Points: +6

Recent Discussions

No discussion threads have been created in this group yet!

Group Details


On coasts two different types of arches can form depending on the geology. On discordant coastlines rock types run at 90° to the coast. Wave refraction concentrates the wave energy on the headland, and an arch forms when caves break through the headland. Two examples of this type of arch are London Arch—previously known as London Bridge—in Victoria, Australia, and Neill Island in the Andaman Islands, India. When these arches eventually collapse, they form stacks and stumps. On concordant coastlines rock types run parallel to the coastline, with weak rock such as shale protected by stronger rock such as limestone. The wave action along concordant coastlines breaks through the strong rock and then erodes the weak rock very quickly. Good examples of this type of arch are the Durdle Door and Stair Hole near Lulworth Cove on Dorset's Jurassic Coast in south England. When Stair Hole eventually collapses it will form a cove.

Weather-eroded Arches:

Weather-eroded arches begin their formation as deep cracks which penetrate into a sandstone layer. Erosion occurring within the cracks wears away exposed rock layers and enlarges the surface cracks isolating narrow sandstone walls which are called fins. Alternating frosts and thawing cause crumbling and flaking of the porous sandstone and eventually cut through some of the fins. The resulting holes become enlarged to arch proportions by rockfalls and weathering. The arches eventually collapse leaving only buttresses that in time will erode.

Many weather-eroded arches are found in Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, all located in southern Utah, United States.

Tree Arches:

Tree Arches can be by natural growing or by man made.

This is Desktop Nexus Group, independently organized and operated by members of our community, focused around a specific theme or topic.   Find more groups!
Group Rank