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

This is mostly due to the fact that Mars does not have plate tectonics. Therefore the plate stays above the hotspot without moving, allowing magma to rise and pile up at the same place for millions ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
17 votes
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How did the Ural mountains form?

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 ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
17 votes

Are there any (land) hills/mountains with bases below sea level?

It's difficult, because to truly have a base below sea level the hill or mountain needs to be surrounded by locations below sea level on all sides. There aren't many spots on Earth's surface away ...
JeopardyTempest's user avatar
15 votes
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How could this pyramidal Mountain have been formed?

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 ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,487
12 votes

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

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. ...
user2821's user avatar
  • 5,946
11 votes
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Could the speed in which the plate is moving affect how quickly mountains rise?

The height of the Himalayas Like Keith McClary says in his answer, there really are two factors in creating growing/shrinking mountains. Mountains grow due to various reasons. In the case of the ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 1,999
10 votes

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

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 ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
9 votes

Why are South African mountains short and flat?

I suspect you are referring to the mesas and buttes dotted around the Karoo - the large semi-arid plateau that makes up much of South Africa's interior. These are a product of the glacial and ...
Wooshness's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes
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What causes this striped rock formation?

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 ...
John's user avatar
  • 6,931
9 votes

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

The other answer is already pretty good: No plate tectonics and no water erosion allows material to pile up in one place, and then stay put. Neither is the case on earth: The plate moves away from the ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
8 votes
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Volcanoes in the Alps and Himalayas and the subduction of Tethys Sea

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 ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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8 votes
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Terracing in Mahad

The Deccan Traps are the geological formation that make up the Western Ghats in India. They were formed by massive volcanic eruptions that formed flood basalts. These are layers of lava that are ...
Andy M's user avatar
  • 2,091
8 votes

Are there any (land) hills/mountains with bases below sea level?

Mauna Kea is a good example of this. It is generally considered as the tallest mountain on Earth. Even if its elevation is only 4205 meters above sea level, if you add the 6000 meters of its below sea ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
7 votes

How could this pyramidal Mountain have been formed?

That mountain is mount Evans (3,950 m), located in the Sentinel Range in inner Antarctica (S 78.30698°, W 85.91698°), the highest mountain range in the continent. (Map courtesy of @KeithMcClary see ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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7 votes
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What causes jagged appearance of mountains in SE Asia?

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 ...
user2821's user avatar
  • 5,946
7 votes
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Does erosion make mountains become higher?

This actually does happen, a feedback loop between the Himalayas and the Indian monsoon. The Indian Plate is actively shoving itself under the Eurasian Plate, creating the Himalayas. At the same ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 3,628
7 votes

When we're talking about the tree line, does it include mountain pines?

From Ann H Zwinger and Beatrice E Willard, 1972, Land Above the Trees, Harper and Row, New York. 1st edition. 1972. 489 pp. The following is from page 59... Beyond treelimit, trees are so stunted ...
Thomas Perry's user avatar
6 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Quite the opposite. Divergent boundaries can cause mountain (well, actually volcano) building, because upwelling magma is part of the rifting process. First and most importantly, the Mid-Ocean Ridge ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 3,628
6 votes

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

The River Indus in Jammu and Kashmir of India and Gilgit-Baltistan under Pakistan control is usually taken as the dividing line between Himalayas and Karakoram. The River Gilgit, a tributary of the ...
Kushal Pal Singh Shante's user avatar
6 votes
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Is there a list of instances where mountains that have been mined out of existence?

Of course it happens elsewhere! However, I'm not sure there's a specific term, generally. Even in the "montaintop removal" country of Appalachia, there is no more prosaic term for the practice other ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
6 votes

How Do Plateaus Really Form?

First of all, a plateau as an area of flat topography which stands at higher elevation than the surrounding region; it does not need to be at high elevation in absolute terms. Indeed, there are ...
Geochron's user avatar
  • 851
6 votes
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Which mountains (or hills) are visible from both Boston and Rhode Island?

As Boston and Rhode Island are whole areas more than points, the question is easier to answer the other way around: From which mountain you can see Boston and Rhode Island? To answer the question I'...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.7k
6 votes

Are marine fossils in the mountain happens due to lower sea levels?

Leonardo was wrong about this. It is not due to sea level dropping (except in very isolated cases), it's due to the land rising. Sedimentary rocks that form in sea beds are often uplifted by ...
jamesqf's user avatar
  • 1,758
6 votes

If the Sea level rises, will the mountains lose their height?

It depends on which vertical datum your mountain elevation references. If the elevation of the mountain is expressed in meters above mean sea level (or some other tidal datum) then yes. If the ...
user28239's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

how high was mount vesuvius (mount somma?) before it erupted in AD 79?

The AD 79 eruption is the last of four caldera forming events which reduced the heigth of Monte Somma. Their approximate timing is: ca. 18000 BP, ca. 8000 BP, ca. 3400 BP and AD 79. Between 3400 BP ...
wienein's user avatar
  • 466
5 votes
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How are small mountains created?

There are no plate faults in Arizona (actually "plate boundary" is the term that we use - "fault" already has a different meaning, so it could be confusing), but there is still extension of the ...
David Elliott's user avatar
5 votes

Lake Manasarovar v.s. Lake Rakshastal: fresh-water v.s. salt-water

You pretty much answered the question yourself. Lake Rakshastal, along with most of the lakes along the Tibetan plateau is, indeed an endorheic lake. The important meaning of that term is that there ...
PoloHoleSet's user avatar

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