What Is A Mountain?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,767
    Science expert Emerald Robinson explains what a mountain is and how they form.

    Emerald Robinson: Hi! I am Emerald Robinson and in this What Is video we are going to answer the question, what is a mountain?

    Defining what a mountain is can be tricky, but a good definition is, any landmass higher and steeper than a hill. Many geographers agree that mountains are a minimum of 2,000 feet high and have a slope that's greater than 2 degrees.

    There are many types of mountains and they are classified by how they are formed. Volcanic and dome mountains are formed by the molten rock or magma found beneath the earth's crust. Volcanic mountains are made when erupting magma cools and hardens forming a cone shape. Dome mountains are made when magma causes the crust to bulge, and then subsides, leaving a rounded formation behind. Japan's Mount Fuji is a famous volcanic mountain, while the Adirondacks in the Eastern U.

    S. are well-known dome mountains.

    Fold Mountains form when the plates that make up the earth's crust collide or pass over the top of one another, causing the crust to wrinkle and fold. The Rocky Mountains in the North American West and Europe's Alps are both fold mountains.

    Block Mountains are made when pressure on giant cracks in the earth's crust or faults cause slabs of rock to tilt upward and sometimes stack on top of one another. America's Sierra Nevada Mountains are block mountains.

    The highest mountain on earth is Mount Everest in the Asian Himalayan mountains. Its peak reaches 29,029 feet above sea level and is still growing. If you measure a mountain's might by its area, Hawaii's volcanic Mauna Loa is the world's largest, at about 75 miles across. Both of these though are dwarfed by Olympus Mons on Mars, the solar system's highest and largest mountain, which is over 13 miles high and about 374 miles across.