Landforms of the Earth

  • A mountain is a natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level. Mountains are formed by the slow but gigantic movement of the earth’s crust.
  • Most of the mountain building takes place along the plate boundaries.
  • Based on the mode of formation, mountains are classified as Fold Mountains, block mountains, volcanic mountains, and dome mountains.
  • Fold Mountains are formed when two continental plates collide and their edge crumbles.
  • Different parts of the folds are anticline and syncline. Folds take much more complicated forms due to the complexity of the compression forces. Different types of folds are over folds, recumbent folds and over thrust fold.
  • Young Fold Mountains are formed during the last few million years ago and are still growing. Old Fold Mountains are formed hundreds of millions years ago.
  • Internal forces cause cracks or fissures on surface, forming blocks of earth's crust. These blocks are displaced vertically creating block mountains. In a block mountain, the uplifted blocks are called horsts and the lowered blocks are called graben.
  • The stressed earth’s crust tends to break and form faults. Different types of faults are reverse faults, normal fault and tear faults.
  • Rift valleys are elongated, deep valley with two high blocks at the sides. They are caused by compression or tension.
  • Volcanic mountains are formed due to years of accumulation of magma in successive layers during volcanic eruptions.
  • Dome Mountains are formed when magma pushes the curst up but harden before erupting into the surface.
  • Plateaus are table lands. Plateaus have steep slides and flat tops.
  • A large section of the earth’s crust is uplifted due to vertical movements.
  • Uplifted portions form plateaus and the depressed sections are called basins.
  • Undersea mountains are mountains, under the sea. Underwater mountain built from volcanic lava.
  • Mountains have a lot of relevance and importance. Mountains are important because they provide building material. They are source of fuel and chemicals, minerals and precious stones, forest and agricultural products, and hydro-electric power. They also have Influence on climate and facilitate tourism.

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