Portal:Mountains

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Introduction

Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Mount Ararat, as seen from Armenia.

A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level. These colder climates strongly affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, such as mountain climbing.

The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m (69,459 ft).

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Selected mountain-related landform

Kettle lakes in Yamal Peninsula (Northern Siberia), adjacent to the Gulf of Ob (right). The lake colors indicate amounts of sediment or depth.

A kettle (kettle hole, pothole) is a depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters. The kettles are formed as a result of blocks of dead ice left behind by retreating glaciers, which become surrounded by sediment deposited by meltwater streams as there is increased friction. The ice becomes buried in the sediment and when the ice melts, a depression is left called a kettle hole, creating a dimpled appearance on the outwash plain. Lakes often fill these kettles; these are called kettle hole lakes. Another source is the sudden drainage of an ice-dammed lake. When the block melts, the hole it leaves behind is a kettle. As the ice melts, ramparts can form around the edge of the kettle hole. The lakes that fill these holes are seldom more than 10 m (33 ft) deep and eventually become filled with sediment. In acid conditions, a kettle bog may form but in alkaline conditions, it will be kettle peatland. Read more...

Selected mountain range

Erta Ale Range is the most important axial volcanic chain of the Afar Depression, Afar Region, Ethiopia. It consists mostly of shield volcanoes. The active volcano Erta Ale is a prominent feature of the range. The highest volcano of the range is Ale Bagu, with an elevation of 988 m (3,241 ft) above sea level.

Other named peaks (with their elevations) include Alu (429 m (1,407 ft)), Dalaffilla (578 m (1,896 ft)) and Borale Ale (668 m (2,192 ft)). Read more...

Selected mountain type

A homoclinal ridge or strike ridge is a hill or ridge with a moderate, generally between 10° to 30°, sloping backslope. Its backslope is a dip slope, that conforms with the dip of a resistant stratum or strata, called caprock. On the other side of the other slope, which is its frontslope, of a homoclinal ridge is a steeper or even cliff-like frontslope (escarpment) that is formed by the outcrop of the caprock. The escarpment cuts through the dipping strata that comprises the homoclinal ridge.

Homoclinal ridges are the expression of regional outcrops of moderately dipping strata, typically sedimentary strata, that consist of alternating beds of hard, well-lithified strata, i.e. sandstone and limestone and weak or loosely cemented strata, i.e. shale, mudstone, and marl. The surface of hard, erosion-resistant rock strata forms the caprock of the backslope (dip-slope) of the homoclinal ridges from which erosion has preferentially stripped any weaker strata. The opposite slope, its frontslope, that forms the front of a homoclinal ridge consists of an escarpment that cuts across the bedding of the strata comprising it. Because of the moderately dipping nature of the strata that forms a homoclinal ridge, a significant shift in horizontal location will take place the landscape is lowered by erosion. Because the slope of a homoclinal ridge dips in the same direction as the sedimentary strata underlying it, the dip angle of this bedding (Ө) can be calculated by v/h= tan(Ө) where v is equal to the vertical distance and h is equal to the horizontal distance perpendicular to the strike of the beds. Read more...

Selected climbing article

This page describes terms and jargon related to climbing and mountaineering. These terms can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries, so phrases described here may be particularly specific to, for example, the US and UK. Read more...

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Selected skiing article

U.S. ski patroller with toboggan in tow

Ski patrols are organizations that provide medical, rescue, and hazard prevention services to the injured in ski area boundaries, or sometimes beyond into backcountry settings. Many have technical-medical certifications, such as Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) provided by the National Ski Patrol (USA), that are specific to the winter-season environment and providing emergency medical services in remote locations. Many patrollers also hold EMS issued credentials, such as emergency medical technician or any other pre-hospital care certification. Due to the remote location and terrain, transportation is often limited to ski toboggan, snowmobile, or, for life-compromising injuries or extremely remote terrain, helicopter rescue. Depending on the ski area terrain, ski patrollers can be versed in a large variety of specialized rescues, such as avalanche search and rescue, outdoor emergency transportation, chairlift evacuation, and, in some cases, helicopter rescue techniques are taught. Patrols work to promote ski safety, enforce area policies (where applicable), and help the injured within their jurisdiction. Ski patrollers also work to set up the mountain before it opens by conducting trail checks, providing avalanche control work, and setting up necessary equipment in preparation for the day. At the end of the day, they also conduct a sweep clearing the mountain for off-hours.

Contrary to the name's implications, ski patrollers can be snowboarders in addition to alpine, Nordic, or telemark skiers. Many patrols also have non-skiing positions whereby patrollers no longer able to ski or individuals lacking sufficient skiing or toboggan handling skills can still provide emergency care in a first aid room. Some ski areas also have a junior ski patrol program in which teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 years old can participate. Most junior ski patrol programs limit the responsibilities of their members, such as preventing them from running toboggans or administering first aid without supervision. However, there are some areas with junior ski patrol programs which allow their members to operate with the same responsibilities as the rest of the patrol, after meeting the same standard in each skill category as other patrollers. Read more...

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Shivling
Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

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Climbing in Greece
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