Portal:Mountains

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Introduction

View of the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains as seen from Tucson, Arizona.
View of the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains as seen from Tucson, Arizona.
Mount Ararat, as seen from Armenia.

A mountain is a large landform that stretches 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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Drumlins around Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin.jpg

A drumlin, from the Irish word droimnín ("littlest ridge"), first recorded in 1833, and in the classical sense is an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half-buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated till or ground moraine. Read more...

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Middle Atlas.jpg

The Middle Atlas (Amazigh: ⴰⵟⵍⴰⵙ ⴰⵏⴰⵎⵎⴰⵙ, Atlas Anammas, Arabic: الأطلس المتوسط, al-Aṭlas al-Mutawassiṭ) is a mountain range in Morocco. It is part of the Atlas mountain range, a vast mountainous region with more than 100,000 km2, 15 percent of its landmass, rising above 2,000 metres. The Middle Atlas is the northernmost and second highest of three main Atlas Mountains chains of Morocco. To south, separated by the Moulouya and Um Er-Rbiâ rivers, lies the High Atlas. The Middle Atlas form the westernmost end of a large plateaued basin extending eastward into Algeria, also bounded by the Tell Atlas to the north and the Saharan Atlas to the south, both lying largely in Algeria. North of the Middle Atlas and separated by the Sebou River, lie the Rif mountains which are an extension of the Baetic System, which includes the Sierra Nevada in the south of Spain. The basin of the Sebou is not only the primary transportation route between Atlantic Morocco and Mediterranean Morocco but is an area, watered by the Middle Atlas range, that constitutes the principal agricultural region of the country.

The Barbary macaque is native to the Middle Atlas, and chief populations occur only in restricted range in parts of Morocco and Algeria. Snow persists in the Middle Atlas in the winter and can appear starting at 600 m above sea level. Read more...

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Volcano q.jpg

A fissure vent, also known as a volcanic fissure or eruption fissure, is a linear volcanic vent through which lava erupts, usually without any explosive activity. The vent is often a few meters wide and may be many kilometers long. Fissure vents can cause large flood basalts which run first in lava channels and later in lava tubes. After some time the eruption builds up spatter cones and may concentrate on one or some of them. Small fissure vents may not be easily discernible from the air, but the crater rows (see Laki) or the canyons (see Eldgjá) built up by some of them are.

The dikes that feed fissures reach the surface from depths of a few kilometers and connect them to deeper magma reservoirs, often under volcanic centers. Fissures are usually found in or along rifts and rift zones, such as Iceland and the East African Rift. Fissure vents are often part of the structure of shield volcanoes. Read more...

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Glaciereaston.jpg

A crevasse is a deep crack, or fracture, found in an ice sheet or glacier, as opposed to a crevice that forms in rock. Crevasses form as a result of the movement and resulting stress associated with the shear stress generated when two semi-rigid pieces above a plastic substrate have different rates of movement. The resulting intensity of the shear stress causes a breakage along the faces. Read more...

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This page describes terms and jargon related to climbing and mountaineering.

These terms can vary considerably between different English-speaking countries, so phrases described here may be particularly specific to, for example, the USA and UK. Read more...

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New IBU logo 2016.jpg

The International Biathlon Union (IBU; German: Internationale Biathlon-Union) is the international governing body of biathlon. Its headquarters are in Salzburg, Austria. Read more...

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Topics

Shivling
Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

Climbing in Greece
Georg Winkler.jpg

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