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mountain range
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{{short description|A geographic area containing several geologically related mountains}}{{for|financial options|Mountain range (options)}}File:Himalayas.jpg|thumb|upright=1.45|The HimalayasHimalayasFile:High tatra mountains panorama from hill 502.jpg|thumb|upright=1.45|Tatra mountain range]]A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and alignment that have arisen from the same cause, usually an orogeny.WEB,weblink Definition of mountain system, Mindat.org, Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, 26 August 2017, Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are also found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are likely a feature of most terrestrial planets.Mountain ranges are usually segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not necessarily have the same geologic structure or petrology. They may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, and volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types.

Major ranges

File:Vysoke Tatry4b. Gotha, 1865.jpg|thumb|upright=1.55|An 1865 lithograph showing the High Tatras mountain range in Slovakia and Poland by Karel Kořistka appearing in a book by August Heinrich PetermannAugust Heinrich PetermannMost geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt. The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Andes of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera along the Pacific Coast, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand.WEB,weblink Matt, Rosenberg, About.com, Pacific Ring of Fire, The Andes is {{convert|7000|km|mi|0}} long and is often considered the world's longest mountain system.BOOK, The Pearson General Knowledge Manual, 2012, A-36, Edgar, Thorpe, Pearson Education India, The Alpide belt includes Indonesia and Southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, Caucasus Mountains, Balkan Mountains fold mountain range, the Alps, and ends in the Spanish mountains and the Atlas Mountains.BOOK, Furnace of Creation, Cradle of Destruction,weblink registration, Roy, Chester, 77, 2008, AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn, The belt also includes other European and Asian mountain ranges. The Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, which is {{convert|8848|m|ft}} high and traverses the border between China and Nepal.NEWS,weblink BBC, Nepal and China agree on Mount Everest's height, 8 April 2010, File:World Distribution of Mid-Oceanic Ridges.gif|thumb|upright=1.35|The Ocean RidgeOcean RidgeMountain ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Great Dividing Range, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains, then the Ocean Ridges form the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of {{Convert|65000|km|mi|-2}}.WEB,weblink The mid-ocean ridge is the longest mountain range on Earth, 11 Jan 2013, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service,

Divisions and categories

{{Refimprove section|date=October 2018}}The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, where mountain ranges can contain sub-ranges. The sub-range relationship is often expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. Equivalently, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, and the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians.The parent-child expression extends to the sub-ranges themselves: the Sandwich Range and the Presidential Range are children of the White Mountains, while the Presidential Range is parent to the Northern Presidential Range and Southern Presidential Range.

Climate

{{Refimprove section|date=October 2018}}File:Aerial photo of the Andes.jpg|thumb|upright|The AndesAndesThe position of mountains influences climate, such as rain or snow. When air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation (rain or snow). As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again (in accordance with the adiabatic lapse rate) and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture. Often, a rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range.

Erosion

{{RefImprove|date=October 2018}}Mountain ranges are constantly subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down. The basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are then filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains. The early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some {{convert|10000|ft|m}} of mostly Mesozoic sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains to the east.WEB,weblink USGS, A Guide to the Geology of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20121024065844weblink">weblink 2012-10-24, This mass of rock was removed as the range was actively undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most likely caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight.Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment. Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides.JOURNAL, Egholm, David L., Knudsen, Mads F., Sandiford, Mike, Lifespan of mountain ranges scaled by feedbacks between landsliding and erosion by rivers, Nature, 498, 7455, 475–478, 10.1038/nature12218, 23803847, 2013, 2013Natur.498..475E,

Extraterrestrial "Montes"

File:NH-Pluto-SputnikPlanum-HillaryMontes-NorgayMontes-20150714.jpg|thumb|Hillary and Tenzing MontesTenzing MontesFile:Montes_Apenninus_AS15-M-1423.jpg|thumb|Montes Apenninus on the MoonMoon{{further|List of tallest mountains in the Solar System}}Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System are often isolated and formed mainly by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges (or "Montes") somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon TitanJOURNAL, Mitri, Giuseppe, Bland, Michael T., Showman, Adam P., Radebaugh, Jani, Stiles, Bryan, Lopes, Rosaly M. C., Lunine, Jonathan I., Pappalardo, Robert T., Mountains on Titan: Modeling and observations, Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, E10, E10002, 2010, 0148-0227, 10.1029/2010JE003592, 2010JGRE..11510002M, and Pluto,WEB, Gipson, Lillian, New Horizons Discovers Flowing Ices on Pluto,weblink 24 July 2015, NASA, 25 July 2015, in particular exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed mainly of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes and Doom Mons on Titan, and Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes on Pluto. Some terrestrial planets other than Earth also exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes on Venus taller than any on EarthJOURNAL, Keep, Myra, Hansen, Vicki L., Structural history of Maxwell Montes, Venus: Implications for Venusian mountain belt formation, Journal of Geophysical Research, 99, E12, 1994, 26015, 0148-0227, 10.1029/94JE02636, 1994JGR....9926015K, and Tartarus Montes on Mars,JOURNAL, Plescia, J.B., Cerberus Fossae, Elysium, Mars: a source for lava and water, Icarus, 164, 1, 2003, 79–95, 0019-1035, 10.1016/S0019-1035(03)00139-8,weblink 2003Icar..164...79P, Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including Boösaule Montes, Dorian Montes, Hi'iaka Montes and Euboea Montes.JOURNAL, Jaeger, W. L., Orogenic tectonism on Io, Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, E8, 2003, 12–1–12–18, 0148-0227, 10.1029/2002JE001946, 2003JGRE..108.5093J,

See also

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References

{{Reflist}}

External links

{{Commons category|Mountain ranges}}{{Wikivoyage|Mountain ranges}} {{Earth's landforms}}{{Authority control}}

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