Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Rock Arch

  • Henrik Hargitai
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_336


Related Terms

Rock bridge; natural bridge; natural tunnel


  1. (1)

    A natural (rock) arch is a rock exposure with a hole completely through it, created by the natural removal of some of the rock to leave an intact rock frame around the hole (Natural Arch and Bridge Society n.d.).

  2. (2)

    A natural bridge is a natural arch that crosses a valley of erosion.

  3. (3)

    A natural tunnel is a natural arch which has a width greater than three times its span (Synder 2011).


Planetary Examples

Rock arches were found on the Moon (Fig. 1) and on Mars (Fig. 2).
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  1. Kolb K (2010) Small winding channel in Tartarus Colles. http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_001420_2045
  2. Natural Arch and Bridge Society (n.d.) Frequently asked questions. http://www.naturalarches.org/archinfo/faq.htm
  3. Robinson MS, Ashley JW, Boyd AK, Wagner RV, Speyerer EJ, Hawke BR, Hiesinger H, van der Bogert CH (2012) Confirmation of sublunarean voids and thin layering in mare deposits. Planet Space Sci 69(1):18–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Synder TA (2011) Ohio’s natural arches. Educational leaflet 18. http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/10/pdf/EL/el18.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA