The Importance Of Mountain Regions

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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…
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 …show more content…
Many scholars are finding increasing evidence that climate has first order control on the topography of mountains. This will be discussed in further detail later. Climatic factors which can have an impact are glaciers, rivers and in some cases precipitation. “Glacial erosion wears down, it carves, it moulds. It smooths, it sharpens: in short, it re-shapes the landscape” (Collard, 1988). Glaciers can erode mountains because it cuts in to them and also puts pressure on the land which causes the land to decline in height due to the weight of the glacier. However, when they melt they have calved away some of the mountain, hence re-shaping it and thus producing U-shaped valleys. As discussed above, isostatic uplift then occurs as a result of melting because of the lack of pressure on the land. However, it is difficult to distinguish the role of glaciers in eroding the land away because the vast amounts of sediments produced run in to rivers and then it is difficult to find out the difference between river and glacial eroded sediment (Gurnell, 1987) and (Harbur and Warburton,

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