Residual Mountains

What is a Residual Mountain?

A residual mountain or mountains of denudation is a type of landform that gets made over the years following the erosion of already elevated lands. The shape of the earth's surface can be altered by forces both within and outside the earth. Geomorphic powers have also been discussed in previous Geography notes. Many different landforms can be created by endogenic and exogenic forces. A landform is a normal characteristic of the Earth's solid surface. 


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The Formation of Residual Mountains

In the subjects of geography and geology, we get to learn about different types of landforms that we find on the land surface of the earth. These landforms are formed by different external factors or geological forces acting over a long period of time. Mountains are such a special feature on the face of the earth. These are the structures present as an elevation with respect to their surrounding area. The most common identification is by the presence of steep on all its sides. The summits are usually conical. but the top can also be in the shape of a ridgeline if the mountain is a part of the mountain range. The forces or processes responsible for the formation of mountains or their rising can be many. The movement of tectonic plates and volcanoes are identified as the primary forces for the uplift of the land at certain points and are termed as fold mountains, volcanic mountains.

After the formation of mountains, it again undergoes various external forces of nature and changes continuously. As erosion is the natural phenomenon of degradation and transfer of soil particles it also affects the soils on the surface of mountains. Blowing winds and flowing water during rains wash away the top fine layer of the soil present on it. Then the bedrock present beneath this layer gets exposed and the mountain looks rocky devoid of any vegetation. Though this rocky surface is resistant to the forces of erosion, over time it can also degrade and erode gradually. After a long period of time, the height decreases and the size gets smaller and smaller. These degraded mountains left after the denudation are known as residual mountains in general terms.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Which are the examples of residual mountains?

Residual mountains are categorised under erosion type of mountains that have been formed by the continuous degradation of the outer layer or surface layer of mountains over time. These are usually found as isolated mountains with a height less than the most newly formed mountains. There are several examples of residual mountains. The most famous ones are the Sierras of Europe located in Spain and the Mesas present in the USA. In India, there are also many examples of residual mountains such as the Aravalli Mountains, Parasnath mountain in Bihar, The Nallamala hills of Tamil Nadu, Mahendragiri in the state of Odisha, Veliconda hills, Javadi Hills, Palkonda ranges of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and many more.

2. What are volcanoes?

As we have studied the interior of the earth and know that the layer below the earth's crust consists of molten rocks or magma. Both the temperature and pressure are very high in this part of the earth. The magma which is in a liquid state if it finds a weak spot in the solid layer covering it can burst out of it to the surface. This usually occurs with the upliftment of the landmass surrounding that weak spot. So this phenomenon of oozing out of molten magma is termed volcanic eruption and the uplifted land in the shape of a mountain is called a volcanic mountain. The molten magma when comes out to the surface through these volcanic eruptions is known as lava.

3. What are the different types of mountains found on earth?

Different types of mountains can be seen in different parts of the world. Geographers and geologists have categorised them according to the major cause of their formation that they find out in their investigation. They have kept all the mountains in 4 types. The first category is based on the tectonic forces and is termed Fold mountains and Block mountains. When two plates collide the less dense continental crust lifts up and gets folded. Contrary to it, when two plates diverge at the faults in the crust then one side rises in relation to the other. The other two types are Volcanic mountains and Erosion mountains.

4. Why Is the climate different on the top of mountains?

We must have studied in the science chapters that the temperature and pressure change with height. On higher elevations, the air gets less dense and the temperature drops. The temperature on the surface of the earth is an effect of the radiation coming out of the earth. As higher altitudes are far away from the surface of the earth so these locations receive less radiation and the temperature remains cooler. The climate and vegetation of these regions also respond to these alternate conditions and feel different than on the surface. 

5. How can I learn more about the different features of the earth 

The surface of the earth is full of special features and different types of climate and vegetation also impart significant characteristics over it. Geographers have explained all these types in the branch of physical geography. Various books are made available to students by different publications. NCERT textbooks for geography are an excellent option for learning these topics. Vedantu has also published many articles on its website related to such topics. Students can easily refer to these articles provided on its website to learn more.

6. What are Residual Mountains? Give Some Examples of Such Mountains.

Mountains that have been eroded by erosion agents such as winds, rain, snow, and running water are known as residual mountains. Residual mountains are the heavy rocks that are left behind. These mountains are made up of existing mountains such as folds, blocks, and volcanoes. Wind, water, glaciers, waves, and other agents of denudation wear away at high mountains. Residual mountain refers to the remaining portion of these mountains.

The remaining mountains include the Sierras of central Spain and the Mesas of the United States. The Aravalli Mountain and the Parasnath Mountain in Bihar are examples of this kind in India. The Namuli Mountains in Mozambique and the Hanbori Mountains in Mali are two other examples.

7. Explain Residual Landform in Detail.

Residual landform, also known as relict landform, is a type of landform that was formed as the remains of an ancient landscape, surviving burial or destruction to become part of the current landscape. Modified climatic conditions are often the cause of residual landforms, but they may also be caused by volcanism or crustal uplift and down warping. Extinct volcanic cones, inactive stone rivers from climates on the edge of glaciers, disconnected and abandoned drainage system bits, abandoned strandlines from more humid climates, fixed sand dunes from drier climates, coastal terraces from high sea levels, and plunging sea cliffs from lower sea levels are examples of residual landforms. The percentage of residual landforms in a given landscape and the value given to relict landforms by various geomorphologists can differ dramatically.