Grosvenor Double Arch

March 14, 2022


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Photographer: Thomas McGuire 

Summary Author: Thomas McGuire 

Over the past 20 plus years, the Earth Science Picture of the Day has featured a number of arch formations. Shown above is the Grosvenor Arch, south of Cannonville, Utah. It’s an unusual double arch 150 feet (46 m) above the desert floor. The largest of the two has a span of approximately 100 feet (30 m).

If the name Grosvenor sounds familiar, it’s because this arch was named for Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor who was the president of the National Geographic Society for 34 years (1920–1954). He was also a founding proponent of our National Park System.

The arch is an iconic feature of human architecture, from bridges and dams, to towering cathedrals. Building materials such as stone and concrete have great compressional strength making them prime materials for use in load-bearing arches. Structural arches can support exceptionally heavy loads, and even cable-stayed suspension bridges often take advantage of arches (inverted arches) to handle the tremendous loads they support. Photo taken on March 26, 2007.

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