A mountain is a big landform that rises above the encompassing land in a restricted space, often within the type of a peak. A mountain is usually steeper than a hill. Mountains are shaped by way of tectonic forces or volcanism.

These forces can domestically elevate the floor of the earth. Mountains erode slowly by way of the motion of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A couple of mountains are remoted summits, however most happen in big mountain ranges.

Excessive elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea stage. These colder climates strongly have an effect on the ecosystems of mountains: totally different elevations have totally different crops and animals. Due to the much less hospitable terrain and local weather, mountains are usually used much less for agriculture and extra for useful resource extraction and recreation, reminiscent of mountaineering.

The best mountain on Earth is Mount Everest within the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above imply sea stage. The best recognized mountain on any planet within the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m (69,459 ft).


There isn’t any universally accepted definition of a mountain. Elevation, quantity, reduction, steepness, spacing and continuity have been used as standards for outlining a mountain. Within the Oxford English Dictionary a mountain is outlined as “a pure elevation of the earth floor rising kind of abruptly from the encompassing stage and attaining an altitude which, comparatively to the adjoining elevation, is spectacular or notable.”

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Whether or not a landform known as a mountain could depend upon native utilization. Mount Scott outdoors Lawton, Oklahoma, USA, is simply 251 m (823 ft) from its base to its highest level.

Bodily Geography states “Some authorities regard eminences above 600 metres (2,000 ft) as mountains, these beneath being known as hills.”

Whittow’s Dictionary


There are three important varieties of mountainsvolcanicfold, and block. All three varieties are shaped from plate tectonics: when parts of the Earth’s crust transfer, crumple, and dive. Compressional forces, isostatic uplift and intrusion of igneous matter forces floor rock upward, making a landform larger than the encompassing options. The peak of the characteristic makes it both a hill or, if larger and steeper, a mountain. Main mountains are inclined to happen in lengthy linear arcs, indicating tectonic plate boundaries and exercise.


Volcanoes are shaped when a plate is pushed beneath one other plate, or at a mid-ocean ridge or hotspot. At a depth of round 100 km, melting happens in rock above the slab (because of the addition of water), and types magma that reaches the floor. When the magma reaches the floor, it usually builds a volcanic mountain, reminiscent of a protect volcano or a stratovolcano. Examples of volcanoes embody Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount Pinatubo within the Philippines. The magma doesn’t have to achieve the floor with a purpose to create a mountain: magma that solidifies beneath floor can nonetheless type dome mountains, reminiscent of Navajo Mountain within the US.

Fold mountains

Fold mountains happen when two plates collide: shortening happens alongside thrust faults and the crust is overthickened. For the reason that much less dense continental crust “floats” on the denser mantle rocks beneath, the burden of any crustal materials pressured upward to type hills, plateaus or mountains have to be balanced by the buoyancy power of a a lot higher quantity pressured downward into the mantle. Thus the continental crust is often a lot thicker underneath mountains, in comparison with decrease mendacity areas. Rock can fold both symmetrically or asymmetrically. The upfolds are anticlines and the downfolds are synclines: in uneven folding there might also be recumbent and overturned folds. The Balkan Mountains and the Jura Mountains are examples of fold mountains.

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Block mountains

Block mountains are brought on by faults within the crust: a airplane the place rocks have moved previous one another. When rocks on one aspect of a fault rise relative to the opposite, it will probably type a mountain. The uplifted blocks are block mountains or horsts. The intervening dropped blocks are termed graben: these will be small or type in depth rift valley programs. This type of panorama will be seen in East Africa, the Vosges, the Basin and Vary Province of Western North America and the Rhine valley. These areas usually happen when the regional stress is extensional and the crust is thinned.