Types of mountains:
Mountains can be classified into five different basic types based on the cause that formed the mountain, type of rocks, shape and placement on land.
1. Fold Mountains (Folded Mountains)
2. Fault-block Mountains (BlockMountains)
3. Dome Mountains
4. Volcanic Mountains
5. Plateau Mountains
These are the most common types of mountains. These are formed when two continental tectonic plates collide and their edges crumble to form mountains. The crust is uplifted forming folds on top of the other. Vast mountain ranges stretching across thousands of kilometres areFold Mountains. The Rocky Mountains in North America, the Alps in Europe, the Andes in South America, the Urals in Russia and the Himalayan Mountains in Asia are examples of Fold Mountains.
The Fault-block Mountains or block mountains are created when faults or cracks in the Earth’s crust force materials or blocks of rocks upward or down. The uplifted blocks are Block Mountains or horsts. The intervening dropped blocks are called graben, which can be small or form rift valley systems. These block mountains break up into chunks or blocks and move either up or down. When they move apart blocks of rock get stacked on one another Fault-block Mountains usually have a steep front side and then a sloping back side. The Sierra Nevada Mountains in North America and the Harz Mountains in Germany are examples of Fault-Block Mountains.
Dome Mountains are also called Upwarped Mountains. These mountains are formed when large amounts of molten rock or magma push the earth’s crust from underneath. The magma in this case never reaches the top surface of the earth. So even before it can erupt the source of magma goes away leaving the pushed up Rock as such. This rock then cools and forms a mountain. With time the mountain forms a dome shape, where it gets warped due to erosion. The Black hills of South Dakota in the USA and the Adirondack Mountains in New York are examples for Dome Mountains.
Volcanic mountains are created by volcanoes as the name suggests. They are created when magma pushes its way from beneath the earth to the crust, and when it reaches the surface, it erupts as lava, ash, rocks and volcanic gases. These erupting materials build around the vent through which they erupted. These mountains are then shaped by further eruptions, lava flows, and collapses. Mount Fuji in Japan, MountRainer in the US, including Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii are examples of volcanic mountains.
Plateau Mountains are formed by Erosion. These are large areas of high levels of flat land, over 600 meters above sea level formed due to earth’s internal activity. Over billions of years, the rivers can cut deep into a plateau and make tall mountains. These mountains are found near Fold Mountains. The mountains in New Zealand and the Catskills of New York are examples of Plateau Mountains.
the highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas. Mauna Loa, stands taller than Mount Everest when measured from its base on the ocean floor but not in terms of summit altitude. The tallest mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons, located on Mars.
Mountains and mountain ranges throughout the world have been left in their natural state, and are primarily used for recreation, while others are used for logging, mining, grazing. Hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing, downhill skiing, and snowboarding are recreational activities enjoyed on mountains.
Plateaus are in general referred to as the flat top mountains but by definition a plateau is defined as a large flat piece of land raised approximately more than 15000 feet above its surroundings, having at least one steep side.
A plateau may occupy only a few square meters of the land or they maybe as large as thirty states of the United States.
Plateaus are widespread through out the world and 45% of the earth’s surface consists of plateaus.