Rocks are always Trembling: a Tower-Shaped Strange Rock in the US

Huge sandstone steeple castleton tower in utah. Researchers at the University of Utah measured the vibration characteristics in detail for the first time. The resonance frequency of the tower found in the survey is an important key to predicting the rock’s response to disturbances such as earthquakes.

Castleton tower, a columnar rock towering in utah. The vibration characteristics of this sandstone layer were first measured in detail by utah experts using seismological techniques.

According to a paper published in the journal of the american seismological society, the rock has two main resonance frequencies. The results indicate that the rock is unlikely to be damaged by small to medium earthquakes.

By applying the method used in this measurement, it will be possible to explore how much other natural rocks are affected by vibrations caused by earthquakes and wind fluctuations.

Why investigate resonance of natural objects?

It’s easy to think that such a spectacular and distinctive rock is always there as part of the landscape, but in reality it is constantly moving and changing. “ there is no real stationary object, and energy waves are always transmitted everywhere, and it is constantly shaking this rock.

The research team has previously investigated arched rocks in utah and published their arch resonances (converted to audible sounds) on a dedicated website.

These huge arches of red sandstone are scattered in castle valley, about 10 miles from moab city. These arches bend, sway, and tremble depending on various factors, such as gusts, distant tremors, temperature changes, and car vibrations.

As the energy passes through the arch, the energy is amplified if the frequency matches. Understanding these dynamics is extremely important for predicting the response of rocks to disturbances such as earthquakes. However, in spite of the huge number of surveys that have been conducted on artificial structures, there have been few studies on natural objects.

One of the main problems that arise when investigating these arches is that it is difficult to reach the measurement point itself. Many of the arches are restricted to climb in the first place (in order to preserve them until later generations), otherwise it is difficult to climb up and install a measuring instrument. Therefore, the micro tremor data newly acquired for the 120m high castleton tower is very important.

This kind of measurement was as if it hadn’t existed until just a few years ago, so all the elements we measured were new, one of the authors of the paper led the study.

Rock that reacts to nature and human activities

The survey was indispensable for the cooperation of two experienced rock climbers.

In the survey, seismometers will be installed at the base of the castleton tower (to obtain a reference value) and at two locations on the top. Climbers climb the tower with seismometers and set up at the measurement point. Wait at the summit while the seismometer records data, and after 3 hours, bring the seismometer back down the tower.

In a previous study found that tall, characteristic rocks, such as castleton tower, had a lower resonance frequency than lower rocks.

As a result of analyzing the data obtained this time, clear peaks were observed at 0.8 hz and 1.0 hz, and these were identified as the two resonance frequencies of the castleton tower. Due to the low frequency of resonance, this tower is susceptible to damage from large earthquakes. Fortunately, large earthquakes are extremely rare in this area. Environmental factors such as small earthquakes, traffic, and vibration of construction machinery are unlikely to cause castleton tower resonance.

The impact of energy from human activities may seem small, but in the paper we also mention the long-term effects of those energy on erosion rates and structural degradation.

The model created for castleton tower this time should be applicable to the analysis of other rocks, considering factors such as height, thickness, and composition. If you can analyze it, it will help you monitor aging.

I’m glad if rock climbers or tourists are lucky enough to see this huge rock up close, and see this rock in a different way than before. Castleton tower is as active and full of energy as the surrounding desert, and it reacts to changes in the environment, albeit faintly.

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