Deserted: the abandoned arches of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante

Once enclosed by National Monuments, federal boundary revisions in 2017 have left more than 115 Utah arches unprotected. Follow our effort to preserve a digital archive of these rare geological icons.

4D Digital Archiving

Our team uses an ensemble of archival imagergy, video, vibration and sound files to preserve a living portrait of Earth's geological wonders in a changing environment.

  • Gallery

    A selection of images showcasing arches of Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante

  • Audible vibrations

    Ambient vibration of the arches sped up ten times to be audible; a dynamic memory

  • 3D models

    Generated using photogrammetry, these 3D models can be viewed online and in VR

  • Video

    Touring the surroundings from the air provides an encompassing perspective

Gallery

Arches under threat: more than 115 natural rock arches have been excluded from the revised boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

Audible Motion

Ambient vibration of the arches recorded using seismometers and sped up ten times to become audible - the hum of the arch in its constant motion

(headphones may be necessary to hear the lowest tones)

 

 

Sunset Arch - Escalante
Recorded July 18, 2018
Big Arrowhead Arch - Bears Ears
Recorded July 10, 2018

 

 

Fundamental mode vibrations

Modal analysis of ambient vibrations shows how the arches constantly vibrate at their fundamental modes (movements are greatly exaggerated).

Sunset Arch - Grand Staircase-Escalante
Big Arrowhead Arch - Bears Ears
3D digital models

Photogrammetry is used to generate 3D digital surface models with overlain imagery creating an enriched archival media. Models can be toured online and using VR glasses.

Video

Touring the surroundings from the air by drone provides an encompassing perspective.

Sunset Arch - Grand Staircase-Escalante
Big Arrowhead Arch - Bears Ears