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A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure and alignment that have arisen from the same cause, usually an orogeny.[1] Mountain
Mountain
ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth
Earth
are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain
Mountain
ranges are also found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System
Solar System
and are likely a feature of most terrestrial planets. Mountain
Mountain
ranges are usually segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not necessarily have the same geologic structure or petrology. They may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, and volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types.

Contents

1 Major ranges 2 Divisions and categories 3 Climate 4 Erosion 5 Extraterrestrial "Montes" 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Major ranges[edit]

An 1865 lithograph showing the High Tatras
High Tatras
mountain range in Slovakia and Poland
Poland
by Karel Kořistka appearing in a book by August Heinrich Petermann.

Most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
or the Alpide Belt. The Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
includes the Andes
Andes
of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera
North American Cordillera
along the Pacific Coast, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand.[2] The Andes
Andes
is 7,000 kilometres (4,350 mi) long and is often considered the world's longest mountain system.[3] The Alpide belt includes Indonesia
Indonesia
and southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, and ends in the Alps, Spain
Spain
and Atlas Mountains.[4] The belt also includes other European and Asian mountain ranges. The Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, which is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) high and traverses the border between China
China
and Nepal.[5]

The Ocean Ridge, the world's longest mountain range (chain)

Mountain
Mountain
ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Altai Mountains
Altai Mountains
and the Hijaz Mountains. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains, then the Ocean Ridges form the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of 65,000 kilometres (40,400 mi).[6] Divisions and categories[edit] The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, where mountain ranges can contain sub-ranges. The sub-range relationship is often expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. Equivalently, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, and the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
are children of the Appalachians. The parent-child expression extends to the sub-ranges themselves: the Sandwich Range
Sandwich Range
and the Presidential Range
Presidential Range
are children of the White Mountains, while the Presidential Range
Presidential Range
is parent to the Northern Presidential Range
Presidential Range
and Southern Presidential Range. Climate[edit]

The Andes, the world's longest mountain range on the surface of a continent, seen from the air

The position of mountains influences climate, such as rain or snow. When air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation (rain or snow). As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again (in accordance with the adiabatic lapse rate) and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture. Often, a rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Erosion[edit] Mountain
Mountain
ranges are constantly subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down. The basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are then filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion
Erosion
is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains. The early Cenozoic
Cenozoic
uplift of the Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some 10,000 feet (3,000 m) of mostly Mesozoic
Mesozoic
sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains
Great Plains
to the east.[7] This mass of rock was removed as the range was actively undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most likely caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight. Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment. Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides.[8] Extraterrestrial "Montes"[edit]

Hillary and Norgay Montes
Norgay Montes
on Pluto (14 July 2015)

Montes Apenninus
Montes Apenninus
on the Moon
Moon
was formed by an impact event.

Further information: List of tallest mountains in the Solar System Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System are often isolated and formed mainly by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges (or "Montes") somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon Titan[9] and Pluto,[10] in particular exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed mainly of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes
Mithrim Montes
and Doom Mons on Titan, and Norgay Montes
Norgay Montes
and Hillary Montes
Hillary Montes
on Pluto. Some terrestrial planets other than Earth
Earth
also exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes
Maxwell Montes
on Venus
Venus
taller than any on Earth[11] and Tartarus Montes
Tartarus Montes
on Mars,[12] Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including Boösaule Montes, Dorian Montes, Hi'iaka Montes and Euboea Montes.[13] See also[edit]

Environment portal Earth
Earth
sciences portal

Drainage divide List of mountain ranges List of mountain types Lists of mountains Massif Mountain
Mountain
chain Mountain
Mountain
formation Ridge
Ridge
– an elongated mountain or hill, or chain of them

References[edit]

^ "Definition of mountain system". Mindat.org. Hudson Institute of Mineralogy. Retrieved 26 August 2017.  ^ Rosenberg, Matt. "Pacific Ring of Fire". About.com.  ^ Thorpe, Edgar (2012). The Pearson General Knowledge Manual. Pearson Education India. p. A-36.  ^ Chester, Roy (2008). Furnace of Creation, Cradle of Destruction. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn. p. 77.  ^ " Nepal
Nepal
and China
China
agree on Mount Everest's height". BBC. 8 April 2010.  ^ "The mid-ocean ridge is the longest mountain range on Earth". US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service. 11 Jan 2013.  ^ "A Guide to the Geology of Rocky Mountain
Mountain
National Park, Colorado". USGS. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24.  ^ Egholm, David L.; Knudsen, Mads F.; Sandiford, Mike. "Lifespan of mountain ranges scaled by feedbacks between landsliding and erosion by rivers". Nature. 498 (7455): 475–478. doi:10.1038/nature12218.  ^ Mitri, Giuseppe; Bland, Michael T.; Showman, Adam P.; Radebaugh, Jani; Stiles, Bryan; Lopes, Rosaly M. C.; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Pappalardo, Robert T. (2010). "Mountains on Titan: Modeling and observations". Journal of Geophysical Research. 115 (E10). doi:10.1029/2010JE003592. ISSN 0148-0227.  ^ Gipson, Lillian (24 July 2015). "New Horizons Discovers Flowing Ices on Pluto". NASA. Retrieved 25 July 2015.  ^ Keep, Myra; Hansen, Vicki L. (1994). "Structural history of Maxwell Montes, Venus: Implications for Venusian mountain belt formation". Journal of Geophysical Research. 99 (E12): 26015. doi:10.1029/94JE02636. ISSN 0148-0227.  ^ Plescia, J.B. (2003). "Cerberus Fossae, Elysium, Mars: a source for lava and water". Icarus. 164 (1): 79–95. doi:10.1016/S0019-1035(03)00139-8. ISSN 0019-1035.  ^ Jaeger, W. L. (2003). "Orogenic tectonism on Io". Journal of Geophysical Research. 108 (E8): 12–1–12–18. doi:10.1029/2002JE001946. ISSN 0148-0227. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mountain
Mountain
ranges.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Mountain
Mountain
ranges.

Peakbagger Ranges Home Page Bivouac.com

v t e

Earth's landforms

List of landforms

Mountainous

Table

Butte

Flat Hill Mountain Mountain
Mountain
range Plateau Ridge Valley

Continental plain

Ice sheet Plain Steppe Tundra

Fluvial

Alluvial fan Beach Canyon Cave Channel Cliff Floodplain Lake Levee Meander Oasis Pond Rapids River River
River
delta River
River
mouth River
River
valley Strait Swamp Waterfall

Glacial

Arête Cirque Esker Fjord Glacier Tunnel
Tunnel
valley

Oceanic and coastal landforms

Atoll Bay Cape Channel Coast Continental shelf Coral reef Estuary High island Island Isthmus Lagoon Mid-ocean ridge Oceanic trench Peninsula Seamount

Volcanic

Caldera Crater lake Geyser High island Mid-ocean ridge Lava dome Lava field Lava plateau Submarine volcano

Guyot

Volcanic
Volcanic
crater Volcanic
Volcanic
plug Volcano Wall rock

Aeolian

Desert Dry lake Dune Sandhill Tundra

Artificial

Artificial island Artificial reef Bridge Building Canal
Canal
(man-made) Dam Ditch Land reclamation Levee Polder Quarry Reservoir Road Tunnel

See also: Ge

.