Where Is The Earth's Nature Or Nurture?

Visually the landscape is dominated by the prominence of mountains (Owens and Slaymaker, 2004) and there has been evidence to demonstrate within all major mountain ranges in the world, there is rapid and accelerating ‘uplift’ (Molnar,1990). Therefore, it is important to understand the reason why they are uplifting and what factors can cause them to decline. Whether it is due to tectonics, climate, a result of both or other factors combined. Thomson (1964) states mountains are over 600meters and this distinguishes it from hills. They are raised parts of the surface of the Earth and one of the simplest classification systems used to determine them was developed by Fairbridge (1968). There are various types of mountains that lie within high mountain …show more content…
In relation to this essay, tectonics can be defined as setting the initial conditions by raising the Earth’s surface and renewing topography (Molnar, 2003). Climatic factors can be defined as shaping the surface of the earth by processes such as glaciation and river erosion (Molnar, 2003).
This debate has caused major controversy between scholars. Many have started to refer to the debate as the geological version of ‘Nature VS Nurture’. Nature is the term used to refer to the natural factors (tectonics) which drive mountain ranges; some scholars who agree with this view are Molnar, Burbank and others. Nurture is the term used to refer to the climatic factors which drive mountain ranges. Scholars such as … agree with this side of the
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This occurs mainly at a convergent plate boundary; it causes the uplift of the surface in these areas. Examples of mountain ranges at convergent plate boundaries are the Alps, Andes, Cascade Ranges and the Himalayas; these examples were taken by Short and Blair (1986). Mountains can be formed at these boundaries in three different ways, for example oceanic to oceanic, oceanic to continental and finally continental to continental convergence. More high mountain ranges are formed at convergent plate boundaries and so mountain ranges formed there will be focused upon later when critically evaluating which is the driving factor.
Interestingly, tectonics does not only control mountain range creation, they also ‘renew’ topography (Molnar 2003). This means that tectonics can modify mountains, for example they not only increase the height of mountains but tectonics can decrease the height too. Throughout this section various types of tectonics will be discussed that can have an effect on mountain erosion and landscape

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