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    Geologists Reveal How Giant Sandstone Arches Get Their Shapes

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Natural sandstone monuments, such as arches, get a good amount of formation assistance from gravity, says a team of geologists.

    Natural sandstone monuments, such as arches, get a good amount of formation assistance from gravity, says a team of geologists.

    It’s the Earth’s natural force that provides reinforcement to some areas while other sections are washed away by wind and water.

    Said one of the authors of the study, "The stress field is the master sculptor - it tells the weather where to pick."

    Confirming their creation theory wasn’t easy, as the sorts of environmental changes that form unique structures happen over millions of years.

    To accelerate the process, they collected sand samples from the Strelec Quarry in the Czech Republic.

    The soil there is unique as it’s incredibly soft, but can harden to become nearly indestructible material.

    They used it to form solid blocks, which they then submerged in water.

    Before and during the soaking process, the team applied pressure to various points on the block, as a means of replicating how gravity could act upon sandstone in nature.

    By the experiment’s conclusion, they had manipulated and manufactured several arch-shaped figures.

    They then subjected small pieces of actual sandstone to conditions that mimicked those in natural erosion and also achieved successful results.