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Popular sea stack on North Shore collapses in winter storm

This photo shows the area where the sea stack collapsed over the weekend on the North Shore due to a heavy winter storm. Photo: Kurt Meade/DNR
This photo shows the area where the sea stack collapsed over the weekend on the North Shore due to a heavy winter storm.

Updated: December 02, 2019 01:17 PM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources confirms to KSTP that a sea stack on the North Shore fell victim to the latest winter storm this past weekend.

Some photos were provided by the DNR, showing the stack forming over 80 years ago, the arch in 2010 and the area where the stack collapsed this weekend.

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Above: The spot where the piece began forming in 1932 on Lake Superior. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota DNR.

Above: The sea arch, seen in 2010. The piece had since broken into a single rock slab, standing 20 feet tall, before it collapsed over the weekend. Photo courtesy of the DNR.


The recognizable and frequently-photographed piece of the North Shore had been forming since the 1930s, according to DNR interpretive naturalist Kurt Meade.

He said the stack was about 20 feet high when it collapsed. The sea stack was what remained of a naturally-forming stone arch that was formed from thousands of years of erosion from Lake Superior's waves.

In Duluth this past weekend, blizzard conditions made getting around the city extremely dangerous. More than 19 inches of snow fell from Saturday into Sunday. The snow combined with forceful winds caused flooding along Lake Superior.

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