Good vibrations? Research on the stability of Utah’s iconic rock formations

Researcher Jeff Moore, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, seeks to determine the stability of formations such as the natural arches that draw visitors to Utah’s red rock country. Moore uses seismic and temperature gauges to to understand how arches respond to their environment. Temperature changes during the day cause arches to swell and contract. Vibrations from human activity can also be detected in the formations. Arches National Park rangers have reported the collapse of at least 43 natural arches since 1977, and Moore’s research can be used to assess the internal strength of such iconic landmarks.