List of Major Mountain Ranges of the World:
The world’s longest above-ground mountain range is the Andes, about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) long. The range stretches from north to south through seven countries in South America, along the west coast of the continent: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Aconcagua is the highest peak, at about 6,962 m (22,841 ft).
Also Read:- Highest Mountain Peaks of the World
Mountain chains are typically formed by the process of plate tectonics. Tectonic plates slide very slowly over the Earth’s mantle, a lower place of rock that is heated from the Earth’s interior. Several huge sections of the earth’s crust are impelled by heat currents in the mantle, producing tremendous forces that can buckle the material at the edges of the plates to form mountains. Usually one plate is forced underneath the other, and the lower plate is slowly absorbed by the mantle. Where the two plates pass one another, heated rock from the mantle can burst through the crust to form volcanoes. The movement of the plates against one another can also cause earthquakes.
|Himalayas-Karakoram-Hindukush||South Central Asia||5,000|
|Great Dividing Range||East Australia||3,600|
|Atlas||North West Africa||1,930|
|Western Ghats||Western India||1,610|
|Alaska||United States of America||1,130|
Types of Mountains
- Volcanic Mountains form when molten rock from deep inside the Earth erupts through the crust and piles up on itself. The island chain of Hawaii is actually the tops of volcanoes. Well-known volcanoes on land include Mount St. Helens in Washington State and Mount Fuji in Japan. Sometimes volcanic eruptions break down mountains instead of building them up, like the 1980 eruption that blew the top off Mount St. Helens.
- When magma pushes the crust up but hardens before erupting onto the surface, it forms so-called Dome Mountains. Wind and rain pummel the domes, sculpting peaks and valleys. Examples include the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Plateau mountains are similar to dome mountains, but form as colliding tectonic plates push up the land without folding or faulting. They are then shaped by weathering and erosion.
- Other types of mountains form when stresses within and between the tectonic plates lead to cracking and faulting of the Earth’s surface, which forces blocks of rock up and down. Examples of fault-block mountains include the Sierra Nevada in California and Nevada, the Tetons in Wyoming, and the Harz Mountains in Germany.
- Mountains often serve as geographic features that define natural borders of countries. Their height can influence weather patterns, stalling storms that roll off the oceans and squeezing water from the clouds. The other side is often much drier. The rugged landscapes even provide refuge—and protection—for fleeing and invading armies.