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Introduction

Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Silvretta panorama from the Ochsenkopf
Mount Ararat, as seen from Armenia.

A mountain is a large landform that rises above the surrounding land in a limited area, usually in the form of a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill. Mountains are formed through tectonic forces or volcanism. These forces can locally raise the surface of the earth. Mountains erode slowly through the action of rivers, weather conditions, and glaciers. A few mountains are isolated summits, but most occur in huge mountain ranges.

High elevations on mountains produce colder climates than at sea level. These colder climates strongly affect the ecosystems of mountains: different elevations have different plants and animals. Because of the less hospitable terrain and climate, mountains tend to be used less for agriculture and more for resource extraction and recreation, such as mountain climbing.

The highest mountain on Earth is Mount Everest in the Himalayas of Asia, whose summit is 8,850 m (29,035 ft) above mean sea level. The highest known mountain on any planet in the Solar System is Olympus Mons on Mars at 21,171 m (69,459 ft).

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Selected mountain-related landform

Drumlins around Horicon Marsh, Wisconsin. Note the curve (click to enlarge) in the direction of flow of the old Wisconsin Ice Sheet. This area has one of the highest concentration of drumlins in the world.

A drumlin, from the Irish word droimnín ("littlest ridge"), first recorded in 1833, and in the classical sense is an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half-buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated till or ground moraine. Read more...

Selected mountain range

Chauen.jpg

The Rif or Riff (Arabic: الريف‎, Berber: ⴰⵔⵉⴼ Arif or ⴰⵔⵔⵉⴼ Arrif or ⵏⴽⵔ Nkor) is a mainly mountainous cultural region in the northern part of the Kingdom of Morocco.

The Rif has some fertile plains and stretches from Cape Spartel and Tangier in the west to Berkane and the Melwiyya River in the east and from the Mediterranean in the north to the Ouergha River in the south. Read more...

Selected mountain type

The Richat Structure in the Sahara Desert of Mauritania. Briefly considered to be an impact structure, it is now believed by most to be a structural dome.

A dome is a feature in structural geology consisting of symmetrical anticlines that intersect each other at their respective apices. Intact, domes are distinct, rounded, spherical-to-ellipsoidal-shaped protrusions on the Earth's surface. However, a transect parallel to Earth's surface of a dome features concentric rings of strata. Consequently, if the top of a dome has been eroded flat, the resulting structure in plan view appears as a bullseye, with the youngest rock layers at the outside, and each ring growing progressively older moving inwards. These strata would have been horizontal at the time of deposition, then later deformed by the uplift associated with dome formation. Read more...

Selected glacier-related article

Sognefjord in Norway, the second longest fjord in the world, shows characteristic overdeepening.

Overdeepening is a characteristic of basins and valleys eroded by glaciers. An overdeepened valley profile is often eroded to depths which are hundreds of metres below the deepest continuous line (the thalweg) along a valley or watercourse. This phenomenon is observed under modern day glaciers, in salt-water fjords and fresh-water lakes remaining after glaciers melt, as well as in tunnel valleys which are partially or totally filled with sediment. When the channel produced by a glacier is filled with debris, the subsurface geomorphic structure is found to be erosionally cut into bedrock and subsequently filled by sediments. These overdeepened cuts into bedrock structures can reach a depth of several hundred metres below the valley floor.

Overdeepened fjords and lakes have significant economic value as harbours and fisheries. Overdeepened basins and valleys filled with sediment (termed tunnel valleys) are of particular interest to engineers, petroleum geologists, and hydrologists; engineers apply the information for developing foundations and tunnel construction, petroleum geologists use tunnel valley locations to identify potential oil fields, while hydrologists apply this knowledge for groundwater resource management. Read more...

Selected climbing article

FigureOfEightLoop.jpg

A figure-eight loop (also figure-eight on a bight, figure-eight follow-through, Flemish loop, or Flemish eight) is a type of knot created by a loop on the bight. It is used in climbing and caving where rope strains are light to moderate and for decorative purposes. The knot is commonly followed by tying a strangle knot (a.k.a. half a double fisherman's knot) or an overhand knot around the standing end.

The double figure eight is used to put a loop in the end of a rope, or around an object. It is relatively easy to tie and is secure, but can become difficult to untie after heavy loading, and can jam badly in any rope type. Read more...

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Selected skiing article

Ice sample cored in Antarctica, containing air bubbles that are thousands of years old

Ice is water frozen into a solid state. Depending on the presence of impurities such as particles of soil or bubbles of air, it can appear transparent or a more or less opaque bluish-white color.

In the Solar System, ice is abundant and occurs naturally from as close to the Sun as Mercury to as far away as the Oort cloud objects. Beyond the Solar System, it occurs as interstellar ice. It is abundant on Earth's surface – particularly in the polar regions and above the snow line – and, as a common form of precipitation and deposition, plays a key role in Earth's water cycle and climate. It falls as snowflakes and hail or occurs as frost, icicles or ice spikes. Read more...

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Topics

Shivling
Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

Climbing in Greece
Georg Winkler.jpg

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