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Mountain Landform

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You must have visited the mountain regions or the hill stations for your holidays to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and the smooth and relaxing weather of that region. The mountain regions matter a lot for especially those people who live in the hot climate regions and these mountain regions are considered as the perfect escape from those hot regions. In this article, we will be talking about one of the major landforms, the Mountains. We will learn about the rocky mountain landform’s meaning, definition, features, types and how they are formed, and other related concepts. This article will help you to cover one of the important topics of Geography of major landforms of the Earth and will help you in your studies as well.


Mountain Landform Definition and Meaning

It is one of the most important physical features of the Earth. It is a natural elevation due to various factors of the Earth and this elevation is higher than the surrounding areas. It can have a narrow shape at the top and a broader shape at the bottom. They can be of conical shapes or rounded figures. Temperature goes on decreasing with their heights and they are generally covered with snow. When a number of mountains are arranged in a line, then that landform is termed as mountain range landform.

As per the Cambridge dictionary, "mountain means a raised part of the Earth's surface, much larger than a hill, the top of which might be covered in snow."

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Types of Mountain Landforms and Their Formation

The various types of mountain landforms and how they are formed is mentioned below:


Volcanic Mountain

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These are the mountains that are formed because of volcanic activity. When the lava comes out at the surface through a crack in the earth called a vent and starts piling up around this vent, then after some time it takes the shape of a mountain with a conical shape. There can be different types of volcanic mountains such as,

  • Shield volcanoes are those which are not too steep and lava usually flows up to a large distance. These are considered the largest of all the volcanoes.

  • Cinder Volcanoes are those which are having a steep slope and a crater on the top. In this type of volcano, the lava blasts out explosively.

  • Composite volcanoes are those in which there are one or more vents and lava gets collected in the form of layers over layers.

  • Caldera is a kind of volcano in which a sudden volcanic eruption happens.

Fold Mountains

When two continental plates move towards each other and the rocks or debris etc. Start folding into a structure which leads to the formation of fold mountains. These are formed through an orogeny process which takes several years. These mountains are formed at convergent plate boundaries or continental collision zones or compression zones. The stress in these zones due to move towards each other leads to mountain formation. For example, the world-famous mountain ranges, the Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps are examples of fold mountains.

  • Very Old Fold Mountains

These kinds of mountains have rounded features and have low elevation because of denudation and are 500 million years old. Examples: Laurentian mountains, Algoman, etc.

  • Old Fold Mountains

Earlier these mountains were also very high but due to erosion, they have now rounded features with medium elevation. Their origin belongs to the territory period.

Examples, the Appalachians, the Aravallis, etc.

  • Young Fold Mountains

They belong to the territory period. They have high conical peaks and rugged relief. Examples, the Himalayas, the Andes, the Rockies, etc.

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Block Mountains

These are the Mountains that are formed because of the faults in the Earth at a large scale and when large pieces or blocks of the Earth get displaced horizontally or vertically. They are formed when two tectonic plates go away from each other, leading to faulting in Earth and these are also called fault-block mountains. It can be seen in the following diagram that how they are formed. The uplifted part is called horst and the lower part is called graben. The formation of rift valleys is being seen between the block mountains. An example of it is the Eastern African Rift valley. 

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These mountains are formed when the central part moves downwards and forms a rift valley but sometimes the central part remains the same and the surrounding sides subside which leads to Plateau formation.


Dome Mountains

Magma when reaching the surface we see a volcano but when it does not crack the surface and just pushes the rocks to create rounded swelling and when this magma cools with time, the hard rock will look like a dome. They are not as high as fold mountains. For example, Half dome mountain, Sierra Nevada Range, California. They are also not so easy to identify and usually, satellites are used to identify rounded structures.

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Uses of Mountains

  • They provide shelter to around 12% of the total population of the world.

  • They are a great source of fresh water and many rivers generally originate from the mountains.

  • They also support varieties of flora and fauna in the regions.

  • The presence of the flora and fauna in the mountain regions varies and depends on the different locations.

  • Several hill stations are also found here which attracts a large number of tourists and is a great source of income for that region. 

  • It plays a vital role for mountaineers and rock climbers. People usually visit mountain regions for trekking and camping purposes as well.

Did you know?

  • There are mountains under and above sea levels.

  • Their heights are notes as per the height above the sea level.

  • This mountain landform covers about 1/5th of the landscape of the Earth.

  • They are sources of freshwater, recreation activities, livelihood, vegetation, and wildlife, etc.

  • The Olympus Mons and Mount Everest are the highest mountains of the whole solar system and Earth respectively.

  • The blue ridge mountains landforms are one of the most famous mountains in the world because of their blue appearance.

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Conclusion:

Thus, in this article, we have covered one of the major landforms, the Mountains. These are the naturally elevated landforms of the earth. We have learned rocky mountain landforms, types of mountain landforms, their various features, highlands landforms, etc. This article will help you to understand one of the important landforms of the Earth and this will help you in studying landforms in Geography and Earth science. These notes will be helpful for students of Class 9 or upper classes. These will also increase your knowledge about mountains and how they are formed. You can find out more interesting articles on various subjects on our website which are written by subject matter experts to help you in your studies.

We have read about the old and young rocky mountains landforms, let's practice some FAQs related to it:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question 1. Give Mountain Landform Definition and Explain How are they Formed.

Answer. It is one of the important landforms of the Earth which is having natural elevation due to various factors of the Earth and this elevation is higher than the surrounding areas. As per the Cambridge dictionary, "mountain means a raised part of the Earth's surface, much larger than a hill, the top of which might be covered in snow." They are formed because of many factors such as coming towards and going away from tectonic plates from each other and volcanic activities. Volcanic mountains or dome Mountains can be seen because of volcanic activities and fold mountains can be seen at the places of compression zones and block mountains can be seen along with rift valleys where tectonic plates move away from each other.

Question 2. What are the Features of Fold Mountains?

Answer. These are the most common types of mountain forms on Earth. When two continental plates move towards each other and the rocks or debris etc. Start folding into a structure which leads to the formation of fold mountains. These are formed through an orogeny process which takes several years. These mountains are formed at convergent plate boundaries or continental collision zones or compression zones. The stress in these zones due to move towards each other leads to mountain formation. These can be very old, old, and young fold mountains based on their period of origin and simple or complex based on their structure of folding. For example, the world-famous mountain ranges, the Himalayas, the Andes, the Alps are examples of fold mountains.