Portal:Mountains

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Introduction

Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Mount Ararat, as seen from Armenia.

A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level. These colder climates strongly affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, such as mountain climbing.

The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m (69,459 ft).

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Selected mountain-related landform

Inselberg in the state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil

An inselberg or monadnock (/məˈnædnɒk/) is an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. In southern and south-central Africa, a similar formation of granite is known as a koppie, an Afrikaans word ("little head") from the Dutch word kopje. If the inselberg is dome-shaped and formed from granite or gneiss, it can also be called a bornhardt, though not all bornhardts are inselbergs. Read more...

Selected mountain range

Giant lobelia in Bale Mountain National Park, 2003

The Bale Mountains (also known as the Urgoma Mountains), in the Oromia Region of southeast Ethiopia, south of the Awash River, are part of the Ethiopian Highlands. They include Tullu Demtu, the second-highest mountain in Ethiopia (4377 meters), and Mount Batu (4307 meters). The Weyib River, a tributary of the Jubba River, rises in these mountains east of Goba. The Bale Mountains National Park covers 2,200 square kilometers of these mountains. The main attractions of the park are the wild alpine scenery, and the relative ease with which visitors can see unique birds and mammals.

The Bale Mountains are home to many of Ethiopia's endemic animals, notably the Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis), found on the Sanetti Plateau. The park also contains the Harenna Forest, situated to the south of the mountains, which is a largely unexplored area thought[by whom?] to contain many undiscovered species of reptile as well as lions, leopards and various types of antelope. Besides wildlife, the National Park offers trekking opportunities from the park headquarters at Dinsho. (Dodola is also a useful base for exploring these mountains.) Read more...

Selected mountain type

A monogenetic volcanic field is a type of volcanic field consisting of a group of small monogenetic volcanoes, each of which erupts only once, as opposed to polygenetic volcanoes, which erupt repeatedly over a period of time. Many monogenetic volcanoes are cinder cones, often with lava flows, such as Parícutin in the Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field, which erupted from 1943 to 1952. Some monogenetic volcanoes are small lava shields, such as Rangitoto Island in the Auckland volcanic field. Other monogenetic volcanoes are tuff rings or maars. A monogenetic field typically contains between ten and a hundred volcanoes. The Michoacán-Guanajuato field in Mexico contains more than a thousand volcanoes and is much larger than usual.

Monogenetic fields occur only where the magma supply to the volcano is low or where vents are not close enough or large enough to develop plumbing systems for continuous feeding of magma. Monogenetic volcanic fields can provide snapshots of the underlying region beneath the surface, and may be useful in studying the generation of magma and the composition of the mantle since the single eruption produced would match that of the chamber from which it erupted. Read more...

Selected glacier-related article

The snow-free debris hills around the lagoon are lateral and terminal moraines of a valley glacier in Nepal.

A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (regolith and rock) that occurs in both currently and formerly glaciated regions on Earth (i.e. a past glacial maximum), through geomorphological processes. Moraines are formed from debris previously carried along by a glacier and normally consisting of somewhat rounded particles ranging in size from large boulders to minute glacial flour. Lateral moraines are formed at the side of the ice flow and terminal moraines at the foot, marking the maximum advance of the glacier. Other types of moraine include ground moraines, till-covered areas with irregular topography, and medial moraines which are formed where two glaciers meet. Read more...

Selected climbing article

The Langkofel Group with the clearly visible Langkofel Col (Langkofelscharte) left of centre

In geomorphology, a col is the lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks. It may also be called a gap. Particularly rugged and forbidding cols in the terrain are usually referred to as notches. They are generally unsuitable as mountain passes, but are occasionally crossed by mule tracks or climbers' routes. The term col tends to be associated more with mountain rather than hill ranges.

The height of a summit above its highest col (called the key col) is effectively a measure of a mountain's topographic prominence. Cols lie on the line of the watershed between two mountains, often on a prominent ridge or arête. For example, the highest col in Austria, the Obere Glocknerscharte ("Upper Glockner Col", 3,766 m (AA)), lies between the Kleinglockner (3,783 m above sea level (AA)) and Großglockner (3,798 m above sea level (AA)) mountains, giving the Kleinglockner a minimum prominence of 17 metres. Read more...

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Selected skiing article

Detachable quad chairlift grip (DS grip). (Chair is on a sidetrack). This type of grip can be seen on Dopplemayr high speed quads built between 1985 and 1995.

A detachable chairlift or high-speed chairlift is a type of passenger aerial lift, which, like a fixed-grip chairlift, consists of numerous chairs attached to a constantly moving wire rope (called a haul rope) that is strung between two (or more) terminals over intermediate towers. They are now commonplace at all but the smallest of ski resorts. Some are installed at tourist attractions as well as for urban transportation.

The significance of detachable chairlift technology is primarily the speed and capacity. Detachable chairlifts move far faster than their fixed-grip brethren, averaging 1,000 feet per minute (12 mph, 18 km/h, 5.08 m/s) versus a typical fixed-grip speed of 500 ft/min (5.6 mph, 9 km/h, 2.54 m/s). Because the cable moves faster than most passengers could safely disembark and load, each chair is connected to the cable by a powerful spring-loaded cable grip which detaches at terminals, allowing the chair to slow considerably for convenient loading and unloading at a typical speed of 200 ft/min (2 mph, 4 km/h, 1 m/s), a speed slower even than fixed-grip bunny chairlifts. Read more...

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Shivling
Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

Climbing in Greece
Georg Winkler.jpg

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