Mountain • Mountain – An individual chunk of rock or rocks of great height. • Example: Pikes Peak, Colorado
Mountain Range • Mountain range – A series of mountains formed about the same time in a similar fashion and with similar composition • Example: Front Range of Rockies
Mountain System • Mountain system – A series of mountain ranges located in the same area • Example: Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountain System • Contains dozens of mountain ranges!
Mountain Belt • Mountain belt – Multiple mountain systems that run along the edges of continents • Example - The American Cordillera: Rocky Mountains, Pacific Mountains, the Andes Mountains, and others
Coincidence that it’s an active boundary and near a subduction zone?
A Neat Word Orogeny – The process by which mountains are created 3 Main Ways to Make Mountains • Volcanoes • Faulting • Folding
1. Volcanoes • Been there, done that. Nuff said.
2. Fault-Block Mountains • As Earth’s crust is uplifted (by various means), it eventually cracks and breaks into large blocks • Some blocks are pushed up, others are pushed down • Result: Mountains!
3. Fold Mountains • Crust is “squeezed” from two directions • Rock folds and bends
Under Pressure • Formed when African plate rammed into Eurasian plate
Mountains Grow… And Then They Shrink Appalachian Mountains ~ 300 million years old (formed during formation of Pangaea!) And now steadily eroding… Rocky Mountains ~ 100 million years old And Still Growing
Another Factoid:Continents Grow! • “Gobble up” smaller “subcontinents” • Collisions also create coastal mountains, such as the Pacific Range • Accumulate “scrapings” of subducted ocean plate Example: West Coast of North America