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Transcript of Mountains
By Grace Henderson
There are four main types of mountains in the world, fold, fault-block, dome and volcanic.
are formed by a combination of tension and uplift forces. The earth's crust being stretched and cracked is what gives these mountains their name - and their appearance.
Where are Mountains found in the world?
Here is an image of where some mountains are found all around the world:
Water Cycle (Hydrologic Cycle)
Plants and Animals (Biotic Process)
There are many plants and animals that live in a mountain environment. Some of these animals include the Giant panda, snow leopard, mountain gorilla, monarch butterfly, amur leopard, brown bear and the tree kangaroo. As well as animals there are also trees, shrubs and other plants. A type of very important plant is called the Chaparral plant. The reason why this is so important is because of its deep roots that keep the soil in place. This prevents mudslides, flooding and erosion. Erosion is when soil washes or blows away.
Why is this global environment so important?
Mountains are so important because of its water. About almost all life forms are affected by it, for example, high-altitude birds and many animals. They rely on the freshwater made by snow, rain and ice. As well as animals, the water also affects almost half of the worlds population. Which proves that humans are not left out of this environment. The environment is also very important because it plays a massive role in the water cycle. It captures moist from air masses. This then falls as snow and until it melts in spring and summer, it is stored.
The water cycle for mountains is where the water evaporates and goes into the air to create a cloud, it then falls down to the earth's surface as precipitation. This repeats over and over again as it is a continuous process. The first thing is evaporation. 85% of the evaporation comes from the ocean and the 15% comes from over the land, which is evapotranspiration. Next is condensation which is when the atmosphere is full of water so eventually slowly it turns into water droplets, also known as rain. The final last step is precipitation. This is when all of the water droplets heavily fall down but becuase of how thin the air is and how cold it is, in a mountain environment, the water turns in to snow and ice.
There are mountains found in North, Central and South America as well as Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Antarctica, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
Climate & Area Size
The climate in a mountain environment varies a lot depending on how high you are up the mountain. The higher you are, the colder it gets even though you are getting closer to the sun. The reason it gets colder is because the air is is thinner so it holds less water and heat.
The average size or area covered by mountains is approximately 24% of the earth's surface. Mountains cover 64% of Asia, 25% of Europe, 22% of South America, 17% of Australia and 3% of Africa.
The difference between a hill and a mountain
There is no standard measurement or criteria that indicates when a hill becomes a mountain. Although in the United Kingdom for it to be a mountain it must be over 600 meters or must have a definite peak at the top.
Primary Producer: Grass
Primary Consumer: Chipmunks, insects, small animals
Secondary Consumer: Blacktailed jackrabbits, rats, lizards, snakes
Tertiary Consumer: Snake, owl, coyote, mountain lion, lynx
View here to see food chain
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Here is an image of what the water cycle looks like:
Climate change is causing gradual, ongoing increases in the Earth's atmospheric temperature. For mountains, this results in two things:
1. It speeds up the hydrological cycle, which increases precipitation - falling as snow at higher altitudes and rain lower down.
2. Glaciers (and other snow) melt faster in these warmer conditions.
Since 1910, over 100 glaciers in the Glacier National Park in Montana, USA have melted at a fast rate from 150 glaciers to less than 30. Of the 30 that remain, they have shrunk in area by about two thirds.
Higher temperatures and more melting ice from ice-caps and glaciers means that an increased volume of water flows to the oceans. As a result, ocean waters are warming and increasing - which in turn has helped raise the average global sea level. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported sea level increases of ten to twenty centimeters.
Melting ice from glaciers also feeds a number of the world's largest rivers - such as the Yangtze and the Brahmaputra Rivers. This faster melting can lead to flooding downstream. However once the glaciers have fully melted, the reduction in water may lead to water shortages and crop failure.
These changed conditions also affect mountain fauna and flora. Higher temperatures have led to animals going to higher altitudes than previously. Flora too, are growing at higher altitudes than previously found.
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Global climate change, 2014, NASA, accessed 10 August 2014, <http://climate.nasa.gov/effects/>.
What is predicted for the future?
For the future it is predicted by the Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) that contraction of snow cover areas, increased thaw in permafrost regions, and a decrease in sea ice is virtually certain to happen as well as an increase in frequency of hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation which is very likely to occur.
are formed by two inter-continental plate collisions. As a result of the collision, the ocean plate disappears between the two continents as the land folds upwards. This type of mountain tends to be found in mountain belts - such as the Rocky Mountains or Himalayas.
generally occur in flat regions. They are classified as either Tectonic or Plutonic. The mountains of Yosemite in USA are an example of a Plutonic mountain - formed through igneous intrusions. These form when molten rock (magma) cools and hardens before it reaches the surface. Uplifting of tectonic plates forms a tectonic dome mountain.
are formed by an eruption and expulsion of lava or cinders from deep in the earth. These materials build up on the surface of the earth and therefore form a mountain. Mount Fuji in Japan is an example of a volcanic mountain.
All these mountains are steeper than a hill.