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Introduction

View of the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains as seen from Tucson, Arizona.
View of the south side of the Santa Catalina Mountains as seen from Tucson, Arizona.
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

A kame near Kirriemuir, Scotland

A kame is a glacial landform, an irregularly shaped hill or mound composed of sand, gravel and till that accumulates in a depression on a retreating glacier, and is then deposited on the land surface with further melting of the glacier. Kames are often associated with kettles, and this is referred to as kame and kettle topography. The word kame is a variant of comb (kame, or kaim is the Old Scotch word for comb), which has the meaning "crest" among others. The geological term was introduced by Thomas Jamieson in 1874.

According to White, "kames were formed by meltwater which deposited more or less washed material at irregular places in and along melting ice. At places the material is very well washed and stratified; at others it is more poorly washed, with inclusions of till masses that fell from ice but were covered before they were completely washed. Kame gravels thus tend to be variable and range from fine to coarse grained and even to cobbly and boulder." Read more...

Selected mountain range

Northern part of the Eastern Highlands range as seen from Nyanga town.

The Eastern or 'East African Highlands' is a mountain range in the east of Zimbabwe and one of four distinct physiographic divisions on the African continent. It extends for about 300 kilometres (190 mi) along Zimbabwe's eastern border with Mozambique.

The range comprises three main mountain groups - Nyanga (to the north) which contains Zimbabwe's highest mountain Mount Nyangani, Africa's second-longest waterfall Mutarazi Falls and the Honde Valley which leads into Mozambique; Bvumba Mountains (centrally situated near the city of Mutare); and Chimanimani (to the south). These regions are all sparsely populated, highland country and are covered in rich grassland and forests. Read more...

Selected mountain type

A subaqueous volcano is a volcano formed beneath freshwater and never builds above lake level. They are commonly in the form of gently sloping tuff cones, although they can sometimes have an unvolcano-like form[clarify], such as White Horse Bluff in the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field of east-central British Columbia, Canada.

Subaqueous volcanoes can be compared to subaerial volcanoes which are formed and erupt on land surface, or under the air. The major differences of volcanic eruptions are due to the effects of pressure, heat capacity or conductivity of water, the presence of steam and water rheology. The thermal conductivity of water is about 20 times that of air and steam has a thermal conductivity nearly 50 times that of water. Subaqueous volcanoes are most commonly formed in oceans, but can also form in lakes, rivers and subglacial lakes. In improving our understanding of subaqueous volcanoes, it is important to consider the differences between the characteristics of modern and ancient approaches to the study. Modern studies offer fresh and unaltered observances, can see and map surface features and the water depth is known in areas that allow observation. Ancient studies have had stratigraphic exposure to sections, are easier to work on, have more and better exposures and have an existing relationship to resources. Read more...

Selected glacier-related article

Glacial action forming a cirque which may host a tarn

A tarn (or corrie loch) is a mountain lake, pond or pool, formed in a cirque excavated by a glacier. A moraine may form a natural dam below a tarn. Read more...

Selected climbing article

Climbers use a few different forms of shelter depending on the situation and conditions. Shelter is a very important aspect of safety for the climber as the weather in the mountains may be very unpredictable. Tall mountains may require many days of camping on the mountain. Read more...

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Selected skiing article

Freestyle skiing is a skiing discipline comprising aerials, moguls, cross, half-pipe and slopestyle as part of the Winter Olympics. It can consist of a skier performing aerial flips and spins, and can include skiers sliding rails and boxes on their skis. It is also commonly referred to as freeskiing, jibbing, as well as many other names around the world. 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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