• Double O Arch

    Arches

    National Park Utah

Environmental Factors

The roots of a blackbrush exposed by soil erosion
The roots of a blackbrush exposed by soil erosion
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

Although Arches may appear harsh and unchanging, the desert ecosystem is continually evolving. Weather, climatic shifts and geologic processes continue to shape this environment as they have for millennia.

More recently, human-caused factors such as air, noise and water pollution, as well as introduced species, have had a much greater impact on natural resources world-wide.

The undeveloped landscape of Arches provides an ideal place to study how various environmental factors affect desert ecosystems, and predict what changes might be expected in the future.

Did You Know?

Tadpole Shrimp

Naturally occurring sandstone basins called “potholes” collect rain water and wind-blown sediment, forming tiny ecosystems where a fascinating collection of plants and animals live. Tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp and many insects can be found in potholes. More...