Matthew Yung Week 3 blog post

Desert Solitaire gives a vivid description about the fragile ecosystem located in Utah’s Arches National Park. Abbey was a park ranger for six months and experienced adventures with Native Americans, the Grand Canyon, and found a connection and spirituality to the region. Abbey explored the concept of wilderness and human development through the book. He observed human development’s negative impact on larger animals in the ecosystem including wildcats, coyotes, and mountain lions. Abbey experienced periods of solitude in the national park and was drawn to the idea of conservation and sanctity. A common human experience, which Abbey had, is to dislike human interaction in the wilderness because we destroy the delicate ecosystem of the region. I can understand how Abbey perceived a connection to the desert and was drawn toward its spirituality while being alone in the wild.


The arches and rock formation peaked my basic knowledge of geology. I was curious as to how the arches formed and how long it must have taken. I discovered the region was covered by sea about 300 million years ago but evaporated resulting in desert conditions. Then, layers and layers of sediment were deposited in the area and caused anticlines (hill) to form under the surface. After a couple million years of rain, wind, and transportation, the newest sediment slowly eroded away leaving the arches on the surface of the Earth. These arches are actually layers of rock that formed from millions of years of erosion.


Evolution of Alpine landscape recorded by sedimentary rocks

New digital technology has allowed engineers to measure a large number of pebbles to picture how V-shaped valleys in the Alps formed. By observing the relationship between size of gravel and stream power, scientists were able to gain new insights about the area’s geological past. Many believe the Alps formed their current shape between 25 to 30 million years ago.

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