The Mountain Environment

by Mandy Barrow

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The Mountain Environment

mountainWhat is a Mountain?

The dictionary defines a mountain as that which is ‘higher and steeper than a hill’.

A mountain is a landform that rises high above the surrounding terrain in a limited area. They are made from rocks and earth.

Generally, mountains are higher than 600 metres. Those less than 600 metres are called hills.

What do Mountains look like?

Mountains usually have steep, sloping sides and sharp or slightly rounded ridges and peaks.

Mountains can be rocky and barren. Some have trees growing on their sides and very high mountains have snow on their peaks.

Some common features of mountains include the following:

  • the summit, or the top of a mountain;
  • the slope, or side of the mountain; and
  • a very steep valley between young mountains, known as a gorge.

Where are Mountains found?

Mountains exist on every continent and even beneath our great oceans.

Did you know?

Some of the highest mountains are at the bottom of the sea. Hawaii is at the top of a volcanic mountain in the Pacific Ocean. More than half the mountain is below water.

The largest range of mountains is in the Alantic Ocean.

Mountains cover one-fifth of the earth’s land surface, and occur in 75 percent of the world’s countries.

How are mountains formed?

Mountains are formed through varying causes, there are several distinct types of mountains.
Click here to find out more

What is a mountain range?

Mountain ranges are long chains or groups of mountains. Ranges are usually 1,000 or more miles long.

The Rocky Mountains and the Himalayan Mountains are examples of mountain ranges.

What is a mountain system?

A group of mountain ranges is called a mountain system. For example, the mountain systems of the United States include the Rockies and the Appalachians.

How many people live on mountains?

Mountains are home to approximately one-tenth of the world’s people

Did you know?

More than half of the world’s fresh water originates in mountains, and all the world's major rivers are fed from mountain sources.

Photos of Mountains


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