A mountain is a landform that is higher than the ground around it. Most mountains are surrounding a flat area of land. Mountains are made from different rocks and from the soil of the Earth.
In order for something to be a mountain, it has to be around 600 meters (1,000 feet) or more. If something is less than 600 meters, it is called a hill and not a mountain.
There are many areas that are covered by land. As a matter of fact, ¼ of the whole Earth is covered by land. As we know, not all land is the same. Some of the land is high and some places are very low. Some areas have grass, and some are just dirt. The Earth has different types of lands everywhere.
All of the different features of land are called landforms. These are areas around us that have weather, weather conditions, natural events such as earthquakes or tsunamis and all different kinds of things that we see every day.
Different kinds of landforms include:
A mountain has many features such as:
A mountain does not have to have rocks and can just be dirt. A mountain also can have trees but not all mountains do.
Some mountains have snow on the top or the peak of the mountain.
Other features that most mountains have include:
When there is a valley that is located between a mountain, this is called a gorge.
There are different reasons that mountains form such as plate tectonics. Most of the great mountain ranges that we see have been formed by plate tectonics that have pushed on each other to form a mountain.
Tectonic plates are found all over the world. These plates are like sheets that sit under the top layer of the Earth. These plates are sitting on top of hot lava or liquid that is moving under the surface of the Earth. As the plates sit on top of the liquid, they move around.
There are three different types of boundaries in which the plates move, and these include convergent boundaries, divergent boundaries and transform boundaries.
Convergent boundaries are the places where the two plates will push together or move under each other. When the plates move under each other it is called subduction. The movement can be slow and can be where volcanoes and mountains are formed.
There are other ways besides plate tectonics that can cause a mountain to form. If the Earth’s crust collapses or if the Earth below breaks, it can cause there to be parts of the land that push upwards. When this happens, mountains are formed.
Sometimes, mountains are formed when there is pressure under the crust of the Earth and this pressure usually causes cracks and forms things like volcanoes.
There are five types of mountains that are the main types of mountains. These include:
Plateau Mountains are formed when there is erosion. Since a plateau is a flat piece of land that is usually large, sometimes, it gets pushed up by things that are happening underground such as lava flowing. When this happens, it can cause the area of flat land to go tall.
When the flat land grows tall like a mountain, as years of rain and snow flow through the mountain, it causes there to be a valley between. This is a plateau mountain.
A great example of a plateau mountain is New Zealand mountains.
Fault-Block Mountains are mountains that are formed when there are cracks, or faults in the crust of the Earth. When this happens, it causes some rock to move up and some of the rock to move down.
A Fault-Block Mountain breaks into chunks and when the rock moves up and down, they pull apart and the rocks stack on top of each other.
Most fault-block mountains have a front side that is very steep and a back side that is a slope.
Some fault-block mountains include:
A Dome Mountain is a mountain that happens when there is a lot of magma that comes up through the crust of the Earth. When this happens, it does not actually erupt so the magma does not come on the surface, but it pushes the rock on the surface up. This usually causes the land to overlap each other.
After a while, the magma will cool down and it is called a dome because it looks like half of a ball.
When a dome mountain forms, the dome is up but the land around it is still flat.
After a dome mountain is formed, it will face a lot of erosion from rain and snow. This can cause the dome to be worn away and cause the dome to form a circle around it.
A Fold Mountain is a mountain that is the most common mountain that we see. These are mountains that fold over millions of years of time.
When there are two plates from tectonic plates that hit into each other, one side will crumble, and the other side will push up.
When the fold pushes up, it is called an anticline. When the fold pushes down, it is called a syncline.
Some great examples of fold mountains include:
Where the tectonic plates meet in the Southern Alps, this is called the fault line.
Volcanic mountains are made by volcanoes when magma rock erupts over and over and piles more and more rocks on the land. When the magma pushes through the Earth, ash and lava fill the ground and the ash and lava eventually cool off. When this happens, it makes layers on top of layers and forms volcanic mountains.
Some volcanic mountains include:
A mountain range is a chain of mountains that have more than one mountain. A mountain range has to be around 1,000 or more miles long in order to be considered a range.
A mountain system is when there is a group of mountain ranges. A great example is that the mountain system that is located in the United States is the Rockies mountain system and the Appalachian mountain system.
There are many different features of a mountain including:
The study of mountains is called orology. A person that studies mountains is called an orologist.
A mountain can have many different biomes on it including: