Geology
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The Difference Between

What are the differences between the different types of mountains?

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08/31/2008

There are many different types of mountains, e.g. dome mountains, fold mountains, fault-block or block mountains, plateau or erosion mountains and volcanic mountains. These are their differences: Dome mountains, as the name suggests, has a dome-shaped or rounded summit, e.g. the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is formed when a great amount of melted rock pushes its way up Earth's surface WITHOUT folding or faulting. It is shaped into a dome mostly due to erosion and peaks and valleys are formed. Fold mountains, as the name suggests, are formed by folding of layers of the upper part of Earth's crust due to orogenic movements or compressional forces at convergent plate boundaries, which pushes the Earth's crust like folding a piece of paper, resulting in a mountain range, e.g. the Himalayas. They usually form the world's tallest mountains, e.g. Mount Everest. Fault-block or block mountains are formed when the earth fractures and fault-blocks being upthrown or downthrown (stacked) by vertical movements at fault lines due to tensional or compressional forces. Some materials or blocks of rock are forced up onto Earth's surface. It can have a gentle or steep slope depending on how they are formed, e.g. Sierra Nevada. Volcanic mountains, as the name suggests, are basically volcanoes and are formed by volcanoes. They are formed when molten rock, magma and minerals deep inside Earth erupts, spills out and hardens, which are then shaped by further eruptions. They can be found at plate boundaries and hotspots and are results of convergent or divergent plate boundaries. There are different types of volcanoes like stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, supervolcanoes and many others, resulting in volcanoes like Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier etc. Plateau or erosion mountains are simply plateaus that have worn down due to erosion. The dictionary describes them as high levels of flat land. An example is the Catskill Mountains in New York.