Questions tagged [mountains]

Questions regarding large land masses that reach high above the surrounding terrain, usually forming a peak.

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40
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2answers
6k views

Farthest point from the center of the Earth

At first glance, this seems like such a simple question of "What's the highest point on Earth". However, I also know that the Earth isn't perfectly round. So that "highest point" may be in a ...
26
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3answers
5k views

Why is Olympus Mons the largest volcano in the whole solar system?

Why is it that the volcanoes found in the Tharsis Montes region near the Martian equator, (one of which is Olympus Mons) so much larger than those found on Earth. In comparison, Hawaii's Mauna Loa, ...
25
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1answer
9k views

How much of a mountain is below the surface?

Is there some kind of math rule for how much does a mountain extend (depth) below the surface? I found an article like this http://www.livescience.com/6595-depth-himalayan-mountain-roots-revealed....
24
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1answer
3k views

What were the tallest mountain ranges in Earth's geological past?

There have been numerous episodes of mountain building in Earth's geological history, particularly through the super-continent cycle. Many mountains and mountain ranges have been eroded, as mentioned ...
20
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1answer
707 views

What is the origin of the Montmartre mountain in Paris?

I have always wondered what is the origin of Montmartre mountain in Paris. What surprises me is that the whole area seems quite flat, and yet there's a very steep hill in the middle. How has that ...
17
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3answers
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Is there a reason most mountain ranges seem to run parallel to coastlines?

Eyeballing a map of the world, it seems that most mountain ranges that don't occur along continental fault lines run parallel to coastlines. Is there a reason for this?
15
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2answers
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Why One Side of Mountain Range is Lush

I'm new to this site and certainly not someone with any real background in atmospheric science, so please forgive me if this question is a little stupid. I recall learning in High School about ...
15
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3answers
215 views

What supports the Rockies?

What supports the Rocky Mountains in North America? Or put another way, Why are they there? and Why are they still there? It might be tempting to think of compression, especially in an east-west ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Why is Mauna Kea taller than the maximum height possible on Earth?

We can calculate the maximum possible height of the mountain on earth. If the elastic limit of a typical rock is $3 \times 10^8\ \mathrm{N/m}$ and its mean density is $3 \times 10^3\ \mathrm{kg/m^3}$,...
14
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1answer
1k views

What causes this striped rock formation?

I was hiking a very popular trail in Akamina-Kishnena Provincial Park, and noticed these strange lines in the rocks on top of the mountain: The lines were parallel to each other, and were on both ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Are there any photographs of mountains without significant erosion (on Earth or otherwise)

I'm curious about how mountains on an airless world such as the Moon would look if you were standing on the surface and looking at them. There are plenty of artists' impressions, of course, but I'm ...
13
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3answers
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What is the tallest fully underwater seamount in the world?

I am wondering what is the tallest fully underwater seamount in the world ? When I say the tallest, I mean the one that is the nearest of the sea level. EDIT : The highest that I found would be at ...
13
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2answers
508 views

Determining the paleoelevation of mountain ranges

In New Delhi, a lot of people say that the Aravali range used to be as tall as the Himalayas. How do scientists know that some mountain range used to be a lot taller millions of years ago, and what ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Is there a standard definition of the term “mountain”?

Is there any standard internationally recognizable definition of the term "mountain"? If international texts describe some terrain as mountains, do they use some international definition of the term,...
12
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1answer
667 views

Magnetic “magnetic hills”?

I have found on Wikipedia that the term "magnetic hill" is used for an optical illusion. However, I have heard that there are true magnetic hills, i.e., locations where you can't use compass simply ...
12
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1answer
82 views

Why is the diurnal temperature range on the Cascade volcanoes so small?

Ski-mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest I am frustrated that the snow pack isn't refreezing at night. There is about a 20F difference between the day and night temperatures in Seattle. Looking at ...
11
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3answers
20k views

Is Mount Everest currently becoming taller or shorter every year?

Is Mount Everest becoming taller or shorter every year? By how much? I would like an explanation in terms of tectonic plate movement if possible. Source: IamKatieHoffman.com
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2answers
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How could this pyramidal Mountain have been formed?

How could this pyramidal peak have been formed in Antarctica? Little is known about it as far as I know but what is known is that its miles away from any existing plate boundary and its shape is also ...
10
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1answer
124 views

What is the age of the Gamburtsev Mountains?

The mechanism for the formation of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains in East Antarctica seems to be a combination of old volcanism and Cretaceous rifting (Ferraccioli et al., 2011). While the ...
10
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1answer
4k views

What is a massif and what differentiates it from other types of mountains?

Wikipedia says that a massif is "a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures." It goes on to list mountain-like objects. Is it not true that most mountains are created by ...
10
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2answers
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Lake Manasarovar v.s. Lake Rakshastal: fresh-water v.s. salt-water

In Tibetan Plateau, about 4600m elevation, If Lake Manasarovar and Lake Rakshastal ("lake of the demon" ) used to be the same lake, but due to the tectonic activity now they are separated to two by ...
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2answers
438 views

Is it physically possible to see mountains from 500 km away?

Quoting from lecture notes of Andrew young at San Diego State University: For less extreme, but very reliable, observations, consider some listed by Commander C. L. Garner of the Coast and Geodetic ...
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0answers
139 views

Is there a distinction between gap winds and channelled flow?

I have seen gap flows mentioned in the literature, for example [Gohm et al. 2004, Zängl 2002, Mayr et al. 2007]. Whiteman 2000 defines a gap as a "major erosional opening through mountain ranges" and ...
9
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4answers
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Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Tectonic plates meeting (convergent plates) form mountains. But if those plates change direction (which I am just assuming they can over time, I have no idea if it's true) and start pulling apart (...
9
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1answer
778 views

Is there an estimate for the length of the American Cordillera?

There was no geography site on Stack Exchange, so I thought the best place to ask about this was in Earth Science: Do we have an estimate for the length of the American Cordillera (the chain of ...
8
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1answer
7k views

How did the Ural mountains form?

A nice picture for "how mountains formed" on Earth is due to the motion of tectonic plates. As the plates crash together, mountains may get "pushed upwards". However, a quick look at a map of the ...
8
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3answers
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What is the name for the forested areas in mountains below the treeline?

Taiga is the Russian word for big areas of forest wilderness in high latitude regions. What about forests in the mountains? What is the name for the forested areas in mountains which are below the ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Himalayas are currently rising. What will be the highest point they can reach?

Himalayas are currently rising about 5 mm/year. What will be the highest point they can reach?
7
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1answer
219 views

What definition of “seamount” is used by the largest utilised databases of seamounts?

Appears that answering what seamounts are is a non-trivial question. My take is what matters is data, since authoritative opinions on the topic are at best subjective. As such, my position is the ...
7
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2answers
425 views

Why is the Yarkant River braided in the Pamir mountains?

The formation section in the braided river Wikipedia says that very erodible soil causes braided rivers. Intuitively, a rising mountain range like the Pamirs would not be easily erodible. The ...
6
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3answers
979 views

What is the impact of divergent tectonic plates on old mountain ranges?

I found this question, which is similar to what I'm wondering, but my question is slightly different: What happens if a new divergent boundary forms in a way that bisects a mountain range, especially ...
6
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1answer
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Volcanoes in the Alps and Himalayas and the subduction of Tethys Sea

Geologist have theorized that the Tethys Sea subducted under Eurasian plates. But where are the volcanoes that would have resulted due to this? Where are the volcanoes in the Alps and the Himalayas?
6
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1answer
261 views

Which mountains (or hills) are visible from both Boston and Rhode Island?

In the description of the Norse exploration of America, there are two places mentioned, "Hop" and "Straumfjord", with some relationship to the same mountains. E.g. The finding of Wineland the Good, p....
6
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1answer
3k views

What separates the Karakoram Range, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayan Range?

In Google Maps, I don't see any boundary between the Karakoram (a.k.a. Karakorum) Range, the Hindu Kush, and the Himalayan Range. What separates these ranges?
6
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2answers
222 views

Is there a list of instances where mountains that have been mined out of existence?

Reading the Wikipedia entry for the Australian town of Broken Hill, I came across the following piece of trivia (emphasis mine): The "broken hill" that gave its name to Broken Hill actually ...
6
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1answer
756 views

Why are parts of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco flat?

A couple of months ago I traveled into the Moroccan Atlas Mountains. Many times I have seen pictures of landmarks like this one of Aït Benhaddou which show apparently unnaturally flat mountain ...
6
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1answer
384 views

Does subduction of continental crust happen at continental-continental convergent boundaries?

What exactly happens at a continental-continental (cc) convergent boundary? I read myself through the web for the last few days and what I came up with is that such a boundary will start as an oceanic-...
5
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1answer
190 views

Could the speed in which the plate is moving affect how quickly mountains rise?

In an episode of History Channel's How the Earth Was Made, there was a remark when India left the rest of Gondwana 80 million years ago only to collide with mainland Asia 50.5 million years ago. The ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What would change if our earth lacks mountains?

I just asked myself what is the role of the mountains on our planet earth? Well there's a well known role for the climate and weather. But is there a kind of physical or geological role? What would ...
5
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2answers
64 views

Does erosion make mountains become higher?

Recently at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, I saw a display set that claimed erosion makes mountains rise higher, counterintuitively. The explanation was that the material removed ...
5
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1answer
1k views

What causes jagged appearance of mountains in SE Asia?

For some time now, I've noticed that mountains in southeast Asia seem to be unusually "jagged" with steep surfaces. My basic knowledge of how mountains are formed (via geologic processes) tells me ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Why are the mountains predominately grey or dark brown?

Observing many photos of mountains one can assume that most of the mountains are grey or brown. See also the mountain article at Wikipedia. There are however several ways a mountain can form, which ...
5
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1answer
284 views

How are small mountains created?

I understand that large mountain ranges like the Rockies are created by the tectonic plates moving. I live in Arizona and there are a lot of mountains here but from what I understand, there are no ...
5
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1answer
62 views

Resources on Andean geology

I would like to begin studying the geology of the Andes, with particular respect to the tectonics and paleogeography of the region. I have been searching on-line resources for some time and I would ...
4
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4answers
575 views

Are the cores of every mountain range igneous?

Every volcano is a mountain, but not every mountain is a volcano. Still, it strikes me that--at least for the mountain ranges I can think of in this moment--they all seem to have igneous cores. Is ...
4
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1answer
544 views

How are 'road-like passages' between Himalayan mountains formed?

If you take a look at this picture you can see what looks like almost nicely cut out 'roads' between the mountains. What forces are responsible for this?
4
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1answer
781 views

What will happen to the Indian plate after it slides under the Eurasian Plate?

What will happen if the Indian Plate is done sliding under the Eurasian plate? I hypothesied some possible answers. Tell me the answer and if my hypothesis is not correct. Most likely to least. It ...
4
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1answer
147 views

Are the Olympic Mountains (in Washington state) geologically unique?

So it is my understanding the Washington's Olympic Mountains are basaltic mountains. The reason is that they formed from the upthrust of Ocean crust rather than continental crust as the Farallon plate ...
4
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1answer
102 views

Could a waterfall lashing onto a road lead to a landslide?

Here is a video of a waterfall lashing on to a mountain road, with vehicles driving under it. https://youtu.be/cHaguj--YBc There appears to be a big hole carved out right next to the road, possibly ...
4
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1answer
86 views

How do mountain springs get their water?

I am curious how do mountain springs get their water. The water flowing from them eventually forms rivers. Is it only from rain and snow? Or does water also come from underground-below the mountain (...