What are Mountains?

Mountains are elevated parts of the earth’s crust, usually with steep sides of clearly exposed bedrock. The difference between a mountain and a plateau is that its peak area is limited and larger than a hill, usually at least 300 meters (1,000 feet) higher than the surrounding land. A few mountains are isolated peaks, but most occur in mountains.

CONTENT

TYPES OF MOUNTAINS

MODE OF FORMATION OF MOUNTAINS

CHARACTERISTICS

IMPORTANCE

DISADVANTAGES

 

TYPES OF MOUNTAINS

There are three main types of mountains: volcanoes, folds and blocks. All three types are formed by plate tectonics: when parts of the shell move, collapse, and dive. Compressive force, isostatic uplift and igneous rock intrusion force the surface rocks to move upward, forming a landscape higher than the surrounding land. The height of the function makes it a hill, or if it is higher and steeper, it becomes a mountain. Major mountain ranges tend to occur in long linear arcs, indicating tectonic plate boundaries and activity.

* Volcano

Volcanoes form when one plate is pushed under another plate, or on the mid-ocean ridge or hot spot. At a depth of about 100 km, melting occurs in the rocks above the slab (due to the addition of water), and magma is formed to reach the surface. When magma reaches the surface, it usually builds a volcanic mountain , such as a shield volcano or a stratovolcano. Examples of volcanoes include Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. Magma doesn’t have to reach the surface to form a mountain: magma that solidifies below the ground can still form a dome mountain, such as the Navajo Mountain in the United States.

Volcanoe

* Folding mountain

Folding mountains occur when two plates collide: shortening occurs along the thrust fault, and the earth’s crust is overthrown. Since the lower-density continental crust “floats” on the denser mantle rocks below, the weight of any crustal material forced upward to form hills, plateaus or mountains must be flattened by a larger volume of buoyancy.

Folded Mountain

Therefore, the continental crust is usually much thicker under the mountains compared to low-lying areas. Rocks can be folded symmetrically or asymmetrically. The upper fold is a backslash, and the lower fold is a synchronous line: in asymmetric folding, there may also be horizontal and inverted folding. The Balkan Mountains and the Jura Mountains are examples of folding mountains.

* Block mountain

Block mountains are caused by faults in the earth’s crust: the plane in which the rocks move over each other. When the rock on one side of the fault rises relative to the other side, it can form a mountain. The uplifted block is a block mountain or horsts. Intermediate falling blocks are called subsidence: these can be small or form an extensive rift system. This form of landscape can be seen in East Africa, the Vosges and the Rhine Valley, and basins and ranges in western North America. These regions often occur when regional stresses are extended and the earth’s crust thins.

Block mountain

MODE OF FORMATION OF MOUNTAINS

Mountains are formed by tectonic forces, erosion, or volcanic activity, acting on time scales up to tens of millions of years. Once mountain construction stops, mountains will slowly flatten through weathering, through collapse and other forms of mass waste, as well as through the erosion of rivers and glaciers.

When fragments of the earth’s crust (called plates) collide with each other in a process called plate tectonics, they form the highest mountains in the world and buckle like the hood of a car in a head-on collision. The Himalayas of Asia were formed by such a huge shipwreck that began about 55 million years ago. The thirty highest mountains in the world are all in the Himalayas.

The peak of Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet(8,850 meters), is the highest point on Earth. The high altitude on the mountains produces a colder climate than sea level at similar latitudes. These cold climates strongly affect the ecosystem of the mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Due to the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains are often used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction, such as mining and logging, as well as entertainment, such as mountaineering and skiing.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Therefore, even if the height of a piece of land is called a mountain, there seems to be no clear minimum, but there are several characteristics to consider. A mountain range is a prominent landform with a significant height and/or the height of the surrounding land. They are steeper than hills. A mountain or mountain range usually has a peak, which is a spire.

Mountains have a different climate than land near sea level and flat land. Climate is the weather in a particular area over a long period of time. The climate in the mountains usually includes cold weather, wet weather and thin air. Thin air means that there is less oxygen to breathe in the mountains at higher altitudes. In addition, mountainous areas usually have poor hospitable conditions for plants and animals.

This has led to completely different evolutionary adaptations to plants and animals that use higher elevations as homes. All mountain ecosystems have high altitude characteristics and rise rapidly from the surrounding terrain. In general, a mountainous area is defined as any rugged slope higher than 5,000 feet. Mountains are distinguished from plateaus by their level. Although plateaus are also found at elevations of 5,000 feet or higher, they do not share the steep slopes of mountainous terrain.

IMPORTANCE

* Water supply: Fresh water is essential to our survival. A very important part of this water is found in mountain environments, including glaciers, lakes or rivers. The mountains provide fresh water for more than half of the world’s population for drinking water and household use, irrigation, industrial and hydropower production.

 * They provide natural resources: Due to the mountain ecosystem, we have access to many materials, such as wood, basic food or drinking water. Renewable energy can be generated from some of them, whether it is hydroelectric power, solar energy, biomass energy or wind energy; the is good for human health.

* Natural Biodiversity Refuge: The mountains are a refuge for countless endemic or threatened species of flora and fauna: 73%of these epicenters are located in these environments. Biodiversity is the key to the survival of the earth. Forests found in mountain ecosystems are essential for reducing erosion and increasing air quality and quantity. In addition, they are a source of wood as a natural resource and a physical obstacle to reducing the impact of natural disasters.

* Provide the ability to resist climate change: The mountains are a refuge for countless endemic or threatened species of flora and fauna: 73%of these epicenters are located in these environments. Biodiversity is the key to the survival of the earth. Forests found in mountain ecosystems are essential for reducing erosion and increasing air quality and quantity. In addition, they are a source of wood as a natural resource and a physical obstacle to mitigating the effects of natural disasters.

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