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 and skiing.

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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The Himalayas, the highest mountain range on Earth, seen from space

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. Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are also found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are likely a feature of most terrestrial planets.

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. Read more...

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Magaliesberg08.jpg

The Magaliesberg (historically also known as Macalisberg or Cashan Mountains) of northern South Africa, is a modest but well-defined mountain range composed mainly of quartzites. It rises at a point south of the Pilanesberg (and the Pilanesberg National Park) to form a curved prominence that intersects suburban Pretoria before it peters out some 50 km (31 mi) to the east, just south of Bronkhorstspruit. The highest point of the Magaliesberg is reached at Nooitgedacht, about 1,852 metres (6,076 ft) above sea level. A cableway reaching to the top of the mountain range is located at Hartbeespoort Dam, providing sweeping views of the Magaliesberg and surrounding area. Read more...

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Mauna Loa, a shield volcano in Hawaii

A shield volcano is a type of volcano usually composed almost entirely of fluid lava flows. It is named for its low profile, resembling a warrior's shield lying on the ground. This is caused by the highly fluid (low viscosity) lava erupted, which travels farther than lava erupted from a stratovolcano, and results in the steady accumulation of broad sheets of lava, building up the shield volcano's distinctive form. Read more...

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The snow-free debris hills around the lagoon are lateral and terminal moraines of a valley glacier in Nepal.

A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (regolith and rock) that occurs in both currently and formerly glaciated regions on Earth (i.e. a past glacial maximum), through geomorphological processes. Moraines are formed from debris previously carried along by a glacier, and normally consist of somewhat rounded particles ranging in size from large boulders to minute glacial flour. Lateral moraines are formed at the side of the ice flow and terminal moraines at the foot, marking the maximum advance of the glacier. Other types of moraine include ground moraines (till-covered areas with irregular topography) and medial moraines (moraines formed where two glaciers meet). Read more...

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Logotype adapted in 2016

The International Biathlon Union (IBU; German: Internationale Biathlon-Union) is the international governing body of biathlon. Its headquarters are in Salzburg, Austria. Read more...

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Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

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