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Landform that rises well above its surroundings, generally exhibiting steep slopes, a relatively confined summit area, and considerable local relief (inequalities of elevation).

Mountains are considered larger than hills, but the term has no standardized geologic meaning. Mountains are formed by the folding, faulting, or upwarping of the Earth's surface due to the movement of plates (see plate tectonics) or by the emplacement of volcanic rock onto the surface. For example, the Himalayan Mountains where India meets the Eurasian Plate were formed by a collision between plates that caused extreme compressional folding and the uplifting of large areas. The mountain ranges around the Pacific basin are attributed to the sinking of one plate beneath another. See also plateau.


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More from Britannica on "mountain"...
8301 Encyclopædia Britannica articles, from the full 32 volume encyclopedia
landform that rises prominently above its surroundings, generally exhibiting steep slopes, a relatively confined summit area, and considerable local relief. Mountains generally are understood to be larger than hills, but the term has no standardized geological meaning. Very rarely do mountains occur individually. In most cases, they are found in elongated ranges or ...
>Haardt Mountains
mountain range in Rheinland-Pfalz Land (state), southwestern Germany. They comprise the eastern part of the Pfälzer Forest Mountains and lie west of the Rhine River basin, extending from the French border to a point about 20 miles (30 km) south of Mainz. Their densely forested slopes rise to 2,208 feet (673 m) in Mount Kalmit. Geologically the Haardt Mountains are a ...
>Galty Mountains
mountain range, extending across the border between southwestern County Tipperary and southeastern County Limerick, southern Ireland. The range has the east–west trend characteristic of the extreme south of the country. The highest peaks are formed of sandstone, the highest point being Galtymore (3,018 feet [920 m]). The mountains bear strong evidence of glaciation, ...
>Lebombo Mountains
long, narrow mountain range in South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique, southeastern Africa. It is about 500 miles (800 km) long and consists of volcanic rocks. The name is derived from a Zulu word, Ubombo, that means “big nose.” In South Africa the mountains extend from south of the Mkuze River (KwaZulu-Natal province) north into Kruger National Park (Limpopo province). ...
>Hangayn Mountains
range in central Mongolia. It extends northwest-southeast for about 500 miles (805 km), parallels the Mongolian Altai Mountains (south), and rises to a height of 12,812 feet (3,905 m) in Otgon Tenger Peak. Most of its northern drainage flows into the Selenge River, which, with its chief tributary, the Orhon, drains into Lake Baikal in Siberia. The rivers of the steeper ...

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1859 Student Encyclopedia Britannica articles, specially written for elementary and high school students
A mountain is a landform that rises prominently above its surroundings. It is generally distinguished by steep slopes, a relatively confined summit, and considerable height. The term mountain has topographic and geologic meanings. It generally refers to rises over 2,000 feet (610 meters).
Snowy Mountains
The highest mountain in Australia, Mount Kosciuszko, is one of the Snowy Mountains. This range is part of the Australian Alps in eastern Victoria and southeastern New South Wales. The Snowy Mountains contain several peaks that are more than 7,000 feet (2,100 meters) high. Mount Kosciuszko rises 7,310 feet (2,228 meters) above sea level. The Snowy Mountains are also the ...
mountain ash
Prized for their handsome foliage, white flower clusters, and brightly colored berrylike fruits, varieties of mountain ash are often cultivated as ornamental trees. Although it is not related to the common ash, the mountain ash is so named because its leaves resemble those of the common ash.
Pamir Mountains
Located in Tajikistan, the Pamir Mountains are a combination of east–west and north–south ranges. They are situated in the highland region of Central Asia.
Kunlun Mountains
Connecting dozens of separate mountain ranges, the Kunlun Mountains are the longest mountain system in Asia. From the Pamir Mountains on the western Chinese border they extend eastward for about 1,675 miles (2,696 kilometers) in China. The Kunlun Mountains form the northern wing of the Plateau of Tibet, which is part of the highest region in the world. (See also China; ...

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