Sandstone structures form without cement

Weighed-down sand interlocks into rock-hard arrangement, allowing spectacular formations

By Thomas Sumner, 13:11 PM July 21, 2014

Gravity, not glue, allows towering sandstone pillars and arches to withstand howling wind and pouring rain, researchers propose July 20 in Nature Geoscience.

Sandstone forms when tiny sand grains bind together into a solid mass. The edges of sandstone slabs wear away when exposed to the elements, leaving behind spectacular structures such as arches, columns and alcoves that resist further erosion.

Geologist Jiří Bruthans of Charles University in Prague was touring a sandstone quarry when he n...

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