Mountains and different types of Mountains


Mountains and Types of Mountains

Mountains are significant relief features of the second order on the Earth’s surface. Generally, the mountains are more than 1000 m high.

The mountains, whose height is less than 1000 m, called hills. Cordillera includes a general highland formed in a different period and by different processes.


  • The word Orogeny comes from two Greek words, viz, oros mean mountain and geny mean creation. It is the primary mechanism, by which mountains are built on the continents. E.g. the Himalayas, Alps, Atlas, Rockies and Andie‚Äôs etc.
  • The mountains are formed by upward and downward displacement of the Earth’s crust. This displacement is due to folding, faulting and compressional forces of the Earth’s crust. Thus, mountain building can be represented by orogenic belts.

Orogenic Belts

  • These are the mobile belts arranged in linear or arcuate tracts that have been subjected to severe deformation and mountain building and are typically found near the edges of the continents. These are two significant aspects of its location.
  • The young fold mountain belts found along the Continental margins e.g. Rockies and Andes. Many older mountain belts extend to the ocean and abruptly terminate at the continental margins. E.g. Northern Appalachian and Atlas mountains.

Types of Mountains

On the basis of orogeny, the mountain can be classified as

  1. Fold mountain,
  2. Block Mountain and
  3. Volcanic mountain.

Fold Mountains

  • Fold Mountains formed when a thickly bedded sedimentary layer is subjected t horizontal compressional forces for millions of years. The sediments get bend into up and down -folds. This leads to the formation of anticlines and synclines.
  • These mountains are characterised by a more developed system of anticlines and synclines wherein folds are arranged in a wave-like pattern.

Types of Fold Mountains

Fold Mountains are further classified as

  1. Young Fold Mountains.
  2. Mature Fold Mountains.
  3. Old Fold Mountains.

Young Fold Mountains

The Himalayas, the Alps, the Rockies, Andes, Atlas and the Southern Alps.

Mature Fold Mountains

The Pennines, the Appalachians and the Cape range of Southern Africa were formed during the Carboniferous age.

Old Fold Mountains

The high mountains of Scotland and Norway, the Sayan and Stanovai mountains of Russia and the Aravali and Mahadev mountains of India.

Block Mountains

  • These mountains originate due to tensional force leading to the formation of Rift valley.
  • The Block Mountain or Horst represents the upstanding parts of the ground between two faults or on either side of a Rift valley or a Graben.
  • The Vosges in France, Black Forest Mountains in Germany and Sierra Nevada in Northern America are the typical examples of Block Mountains.

Volcanic Mountains

The continuous deposition of lava over Earth’s surface leads to the formation of a conical peak. It is called volcanic peak. Like mountain Mauna Kea over Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.

Major Mountain Ranges

Range Location Length(km)
Andes South America 7200
Rockies North America 4800
Great Dividing Range East Australia 3600
Himalaya India, Pakistan, Nepal 2400
Atlas North-west Africa 1930
Western Ghats Western India 1610
Caucasus Europe 1200
Alaska USA 1130
Alps Europe 1050


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