52

It's Chimborazo, Ecuador, but only just, beating Huascarán, Peru, by less than 50 metres. Both are over 2 km 'higher' than Everest. I made a plot of some mountains — height above centre of the earth vs absolute latitude. You can download the IPython Notebook source code here. Warning: v. hacky. I can't find anything on the position of the centre of the ...


23

Is there some kind of math rule for how much does a mountain extends (depth) below the surface? Definitely! It is called isostasy. When I was a student, the lecture about isostasy started with a slide asking "why don't the mountains fall over?" (it may sound better in my native language..) First, some background: Mountains, and in general the Earth's ...


21

Mount Chimborazo, which is 6,268 meters above sea level and within 1.5 degrees of the equator. More specifically, according to Dr. Milbert, Chief Geodesist, NOAA, National Geodetic Survey and Dr. Shum, Geodetic Science & Surveying, Ohio State Univ.: distance from Earth's center of mass, with an uncertainty of only +/- 2 meters: Mt. Chimborazo - 6384....


20

The Cascade Mountain Range in the US Pacific Northwest is a good example to use to explain this. The predominant wind direction is from the West - over the Pacific Ocean. The air over the ocean picks up moisture from evaporation. After it passes the coast, the mountains cause the air to rise. As it does so it cools. Colder air can hold less water vapour than ...


17

Here's how astronomers of the late 19th century thought the Moon would appear: Recreations in Astronomy by H. D. Warren D. D., published in 1879, via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selenography. Here's what Apollo 15 astronauts saw: Apollo 15 Lunar Module Falcon at the Hadley-Apennine landing site. Hadley Delta in the background rises approximately 4,000 ...


17

According to one survey using GPS mounted on a plateau below the summit, Mount Everest is increasing its height approximately 4mm each year. As for plate techtonics, this site describes it pretty simply: Much like a car crashing head-on with a truck, crumpling occurred when the two continents met and the result was the creation of the Himalayan Mountains....


16

Mountain ranges are usually formed as orogeny where tectonic plates collides, known as convergent boundaries. The continental plates have less density than the oceanic plates and the buoyancy results in that they are mostly above sea level. Continental sea floor is known as continental shelf, but usually, it doesn't reach far from the coastline. Therefor ...


15

A clue is in the full name of the hill: 'Butte Montmartre'. A butte is an erosional feature in which a block of resistant rock overlies a less resistant layer. Erosion of the soft layer below causes the more resistant rock to erode as well by undercutting. This can lead to an isolated hill in a relatively flat surrounding. The Montmartre hill itself ...


15

Since over half of the height of Mauna Kea is under water, you need to consider the buoyancy effect. Instead of a density of $3 \times 10^3\ \mathrm{kg/m^3}$, the underwater portion has a net density of $2 \times 10^3\ \mathrm{kg/m^3}$. That will significantly increase the potential height of such a mountain. Add in all the other uncertainties (is Mauna Kea ...


14

The Ural mountains are one of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth. They started forming about 300 Ma ago by the subduction of the oceanic crust once attached to the Kazakhstania plate under the ancient Laurussia continent. A subduction process that finished about 240 Ma ago. The tectonic plates are far from fixed, some of them disappear over time other new ...


13

Factors determining the maximum possible height of mountains include the rate of uplift versus the rate of erosion[a] and rock strength. Rock strength is controlled by the type and internal structure of the rock in question. There is some evidence that once mountains extend above the snow line, glacial and periglacial erosion have a stronger control than ...


13

According to the Oxford Dictionary of Earth Sciences, seamount Isolated, submarine mountain rising more than 1000m above the ocean floor. The sharp, crested summits of seamounts are usually 1000-2000m below the ocean surface. Seamounts are of volcanic origin. To avoid classifying seamounts by arbitrary sea level (dependent on availability of surface ...


13

Certainly there are such places. They are simply spots where the nearby rocks have a high concentration of magnetic minerals with a strong remanent magnetization. They're not necessarily literal hills: any kind of topography can be magnetized in this way. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "drives your compass crazy" -- its direction will be affected, but ...


13

Such forms tend to be created by glacial activity, which, ahem, the ice-covered continent is known for. Much discussion of this in the related question in Skeptics: Are there three pyramids in Antarctica? Here's the generic answer in Wikipedia: A pyramidal peak, sometimes in its most extreme form called a glacial horn, is an angular, sharply pointed ...


12

It's a glacier, it this case the Baltoro Glacier in Karakoram, Pakistan. The road-like pattern is formed as the glacier slowly flows towards lower altitude from a nearby ice-cap or accumulation zone. Rocks and dirt is transported both within the ice and on the surface. With a closer look, the surface is rarely smooth, but often deep trenches, cravasses, ...


10

There does not appear to be an agreed international definition of a mountain. In the UK there is a colloquial definition that a mountain must be "a thousand feet high". This definition is sufficiently firmly established in a "folklore" sense that the 1995 film "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain" centred around it for its plot, and ...


10

This answers one of the questions you list, but the shallowest seamount, per this list on Wikipedia is Banua Wahu, which is 8 meters below the surface, but has risen above the surface and fallen below the surface several times in recorded history. However, this is definitely not the tallest seamount, standing only 400m high from its base. Edit A larger ...


10

Frost heaving of the striped variety As soil freezes it expands, this slowly pushes coarser material outwards, (since no ice forms in the stones just between them). This forms in bands of coarse and fine material like you see in your image. The effect only becomes more exaggerated as the soil gets more and more sorted, since the finer material holds more ...


9

I'll begin with your second question, as to how mountains erode. To simplify things, there are two methods: Physical weathering, where the rocks are broken down by weather. For example, there are cracks in rocks that get filled by water which freezes and expands. This maker the cracks bigger and breaks down the rock. Also wind, earthquakes and any other ...


8

The largest database of seamounts contains over 33,000 seamounts and was created by Yesson, Chris; Clark, MR; Taylor, M; Rogers, AD. Link For their list, they defined seamounts and knolls as Seamounts and knolls are 'undersea mountains', the former rising more than 1000 m from the sea floor Yesson, C et al. (2011): Lists of seamounts and knolls in ...


8

I'll augment the other answer with an example. Consider a theoretical north-south oriented mountain range that rises 2000 m above sea level and the land on either side of the range is at sea level. A little ways west of the mountain is ocean. The location is the mid-latitudes and the prevailing wind is from the west. Air along the surface travels above ...


8

The presence of water underground has nothing to do with sea level in mountainous country. When rain fails on a mountain, or snow falls on a mountain and the snow eventually melts, the water from the rain or snow melt mostly travels downhill via rivers to the sea. In getting to a river some of the water will fall on the ground. In places where the ground ...


8

The Himalayas are indeed rising, but they are also being eroded at a comparable rate. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the maximum possible height of a mountain on Earth is only marginally higher than Mt Everest, that is probably about 9000 to 10,000 metres high. There are, of course compressive / convergent plate boundaries where there is a ...


7

Part of the current topography might be due to a hot upper mantle below the Rocky mountains. This can be determined by seismic tomography. The hot mantle creates isostatic uplift. Just one of many pictures I found: http://srl.geoscienceworld.org/content/83/1/23/F2.large.jpg


7

To put it very short and sweet, yes, it is getting taller. It is getting taller because the Indian-Australian and the Eurasian plates are continuing to collide. Also, from what I have read, the amount by which its height increases every year is apparently somewhat undecided as some sources say it is growing by as much as 30" per year, while others say just ...


7

My interpretation is that while an individual mountain itself may be part of a mountain range that is marked out by faults and flexures, the actual mountain is demarcated by erosive processes. For example, the Alps in France are a mountain range, demarcated by faults. However, the Matterhorn, shown below, is clearly a mountain figure not marked out by faults ...


7

Your calculation of maximum height has a precision of one significant figure, 10000 meters. That is consistent with the height of Mauna Kea to the same precision of one significant figure. The difference, 210 meters, doesn't matter. Your question doesn't really make sense the way you have stated it. You need to propose a model, and do a calculation, ...


7

David Hammen has already answered with the correct term in his comment. Karsts are formed as water dissolve rocks, typically carbonates (as limestone or dolomite) or evaporites. Karst landscapes can originate from karst caves, formed by groundwater flowing through the rocks. When the caves eventually collapse (see image here) a rugged landscape is left ...


7

The end of the Tethys Sea and the initiation of the continent-continent collision that formed the Himalayas is thought to have happened about 65 Ma ago (recent studies suggest maybe only 35 Ma). And since then, that colossal collision have produced an estimated 2,500 km of crustal shortening. That means that 2,500 km of continental surface is gone. A ...


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