Swinnerton Arch by Stan Jones

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Swinnerton Arch is located in a remote part of Monument Valley, Arizona, south of Hunt's Mesa. It is number 10-15 in the Vreeland catalog. Also known as Swinnerton Bridge, it is a very young pothole natural arch eroded through DeChelly sandstone. It is considered young because the span of the lintel is smaller than the diameter of the pothole that created it. This pothole formed and grew very near to the edge of a cliff. At a point in the very recent past, the thin wall separating the pothole from the cliff face collapsed. This event must have been sudden and catastophic. Remnants of the wall remain scattered at the foot of the cliff. The event likely took place within the last two hundred years, or even less. The arch has a span of 40 feet, a height of 50 feet, a width of 15 feet and a thickness of 5 feet, as measured by Jay Wilbur with laser triangulation (Jay also provided the formation analysis). Because it is within the boundaries of Monument Valley Tribal Park, the services of a Navajo guide must be obtained to visit this arch. Access requires a lengthy and complicated 4WD route followed by a short walk. Pictured below the opening is James Vertucci. See this arch in 3D. For more Monument Valley arches, see the Monument Valley Portfolio.

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