The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4000 metres, the altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe, in the mountains precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era, a mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established, Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, and the Romans had settlements in the region.
In 1800 Napoleon crossed one of the passes with an army of 40,000. The 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists, writers, in World War II, Adolf Hitler kept a base of operation in the Bavarian Alps throughout the war. The Alpine region has a cultural identity. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, French, at present, the region is home to 14 million people and has 120 million annual visitors. The English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes, maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp and this may be consistent with the theory that in Greek Alpes is a name of non-Indo-European origin. According to the Old English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might possibly derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb hill, Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe.
In Roman times, Albania was a name for the eastern Caucasus, in modern languages the term alp, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width, the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, the range continues onward toward Vienna and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the border of Bavaria in Germany
In earth science, erosion is the action of surface processes that remove soil, rock, or dissolved material from one location on the Earths crust, transport it away to another location. Eroded sediment or solutes may be transported just a few millimetres, the rates at which such processes act control how fast a surface is eroded. Feedbacks are possible between rates of erosion and the amount of eroded material that is carried by, for example. Processes of erosion that produce sediment or solutes from a place contrast with those of deposition, while erosion is a natural process, human activities have increased by 10-40 times the rate at which erosion is occurring globally. At well-known agriculture sites such as the Appalachian Mountains, intensive farming practices have caused erosion up to 100x the speed of the rate of erosion in the region. Excessive erosion causes both on-site and off-site problems, on-site impacts include decreases in agricultural productivity and ecological collapse, both because of loss of the nutrient-rich upper soil layers.
In some cases, the end result is desertification. Off-site effects include sedimentation of waterways and eutrophication of bodies, as well as sediment-related damage to roads. Intensive agriculture, roads, anthropogenic climate change and urban sprawl are amongst the most significant human activities in regard to their effect on stimulating erosion, there are many prevention and remediation practices that can curtail or limit erosion of vulnerable soils. Rainfall, and the surface runoff which may result from rainfall, produces four types of soil erosion, splash erosion, sheet erosion, rill erosion. Splash erosion is generally seen as the first and least severe stage in the erosion process. In splash erosion, the impact of a falling raindrop creates a crater in the soil. The distance these soil particles travel can be as much as 0.6 m vertically and 1.5 m horizontally on level ground. If the soil is saturated, or if the rate is greater than the rate at which water can infiltrate into the soil.
If the runoff has sufficient flow energy, it will transport loosened soil particles down the slope, sheet erosion is the transport of loosened soil particles by overland flow. Rill erosion refers to the development of small, ephemeral concentrated flow paths which function as both sediment source and sediment delivery systems for erosion on hillslopes, where water erosion rates on disturbed upland areas are greatest, rills are active. Flow depths in rills are typically of the order of a few centimetres or less and this means that rills exhibit hydraulic physics very different from water flowing through the deeper, wider channels of streams and rivers. Gully erosion occurs when water accumulates and rapidly flows in narrow channels during or immediately after heavy rains or melting snow
An outcrop or rocky outcrop is a visible exposure of bedrock or ancient superficial deposits on the surface of the Earth. However, in places where the cover is removed through erosion or tectonic uplift. In Finland, glacial erosion during the last glacial maximum, followed by scouring by sea waves and superficial deposits may be exposed at the Earths surface due to human excavations such as quarrying and building of transport routes. Outcrops allow direct observation and sampling of the bedrock in situ for geologic analysis, in situ measurements are critical for proper analysis of geological history and outcrops are therefore extremely important for understanding the geologic time scale of earth history. Outcrops are important for understanding fossil assemblages, paleo-environment. An outcrop example in California is the Vasquez Rocks, familiar from location shooting use in many films, list of rock formations Geological formation Geologic time scale Media related to Outcrops at Wikimedia Commons
Geology of the Alps
The Alps form part of a Cenozoic orogenic belt of mountain chains, called the Alpide belt, that stretches through southern Europe and Asia from the Atlantic all the way to the Himalayas. This belt of mountain chains was formed during the Alpine orogeny, a gap in these mountain chains in central Europe separates the Alps from the Carpathians to the east. Orogeny took place continuously and tectonic subsidence has produced the gaps in between, the Alps arose as a result of the collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, in which the Alpine Tethys, which was formerly in between these continents, disappeared. Most of this occurred during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, crystalline basement rocks, which are exposed in the higher central regions, are the rocks forming Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and high peaks in the Pennine Alps and Hohe Tauern. The formation of the Mediterranean Sea is a recent development. The Alps form a convex arc around their southeastern foreland basin. Quaternary and Neogene sediments in this basin lie discordant over the southernmost thrust units, in the northeast, southward dipping and internally thrusted Cenozoic foreland deposits are found.
This Bavarian and Swiss foreland basin is called the Molasse basin, the foreland basin deposits are overthrusted from the south by the thrustfront of the Alpine nappes. In Switzerland the Molasse Basin is rimmed to the northwest by the Jura mountains, an external fold-and-thrust belt, the western part of the Molasse basin forms the plateau of the Mittelland between the Alps and Jura Mountains. The Jura Mountains location is still a topic for debate, a possible tectonic factor is the north-south extensional Upper Rhine Graben to the north. The Alps continue fairly smoothly into the following related Alpine mountain ranges, the Apennines to the southwest, the Dinarides to the southeast, in the east the Alps are bounded by the Viennese Basin and the Pannonian Basin, where east–west stretching of the crust takes place. The Alps have a geology, but the general structure is the same as for other mountain ranges formed by continental collision. The Alps are often divided into Eastern and Western Alps, the division between the Eastern and Central Alps is approximately the line between St.
Margrethen and Sondrio, the division between the Central and Western Alps is unclear. The main suture in the Alps is called the Periadriatic Seam and this is the boundary between materials from the European and Apulian plates. South of this line are folded and thrusted units of the Southern Alps, north of the Periadriatic seam, rocks from three main palaeogeographic domains are found, the Helvetic or Dauphinois, the Penninic and the Austroalpine domains. Folds and thrusts north of the Periadriatic seam are generally directed to the north, in the Southern Alps the thrusts are to the south so the vergence is dominantly southward. The rocks of the Austroalpine nappes form most of the outcrops in the Eastern Alps, while in the west these nappes are, with the exception of a few places, eroded away. In the Western Alps the Helvetic nappes can be found to the north and west, sometimes still under klippes of the Penninic nappes, as in the Préalpes du Sud south of Lake Geneva
The Periadriatic Seam is a distinct geologic fault in Southern Europe, running S-shaped about 1000 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea through the whole Southern Alps as far as Hungary. It forms the division between the Adriatic plate and the European plate, the term Insubric line is sometimes used to address the whole Periadriatic Seam, but it is more commonly used to mean just a western part of it. Within the Eastern Alps, the marks the border between the Central Eastern Alps and the Southern Limestone Alps. In the Western Alps it forms the division between the southern Apulian foreland and the central zones of the Alps. Continental collision is still going on, with the Apulian and European plates still converging, movement along the Periadriatic Seam is the cause for the earthquake zone between Vienna and Friuli. Meanwhile, the zones of the Alps are rising too. The result is the set of major faultzones collectively named Periadriatic Seam, the uplift caused violent erosion of the young orogen, which led to the formation of the Hohe Tauern window.
At several regions a heavy uplift of the Central Alps by some kilometers took place, Apulian Plate Geology of the Alps
The Molasse basin is a foreland basin north of the Alps which formed during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. The basin formed as a result of the flexure of the European plate under the weight of the wedge of the Alps that was forming to the south. In geology, the molasse basin is sometimes used in a general sense for a synorogenic foreland basin of the type north of the Alps. The Molasse basin stretches over a length of 1000 kilometers along the axis of the Alps, in France, Germany. The western end is at Lake Geneva, where the outcrop is just 20 km wide. Further to the northeast the basin becomes wider and it forms the subsurface of the Swiss Mittelland and reaches its largest width in the Bavarian foreland of the Alps. From Amstetten to Sankt Pölten the basin forms a narrow band, after that it widens again to the east. North of the Danube River it connects with the Vienna basin, the region where the molasse crops out is divided into two. The Subalpine Molasse zone along the Alps and the Foreland Molasse zone further into the foreland, in the Foreland Molasse zone the molasse sediments are relatively undisturbed, in the Subalpine Molasse zone the beds are often tilted and thrust over each other.
Before the development of the Molasse basin, in the Mesozoic era, the weight of the orogenic wedge made the European plate bend downward, resulting in the formation of a deep marine foredeep. In the Eocene epoch the basin became deeper until it formed a small oceanic trench north of the developing orogen, due to the huge amounts of sediments that were eroded from the forming mountain chain the basin was filled up and got shallower. During the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, undeep marine to continental molasse was deposited in the basin, around 10 to 5 million years ago, tectonic uplift had raised the basin to such a height that netto sedimentation stopped. From the south, the deposits were overthrust about 10 kilometers by the Helvetic nappes. The Jura mountains, a fold and thrust belt along the present Swiss-French border, in some places in the Jura mountains, molasse deposits were folded together with older Mesozoic limestones. Deformation instead localized further north, thus forming the relatively flat Swiss Mittelland between the Alps and the Jura Mountains, the Swiss part of the Molasse basin is now located in between the Alps and the Jura mountains, as a large piggy-back basin.
In the Eastern Alps an external mountain range such as the Jura Mountains never developed, the total thickness of molasse deposits in the basin can be up to 6 kilometers. Lithostratigraphically, this molasse is treated as a group that is divided into four formations and this division is made on whether the sedimentary facies is continental or marine. The lowermost formation is the Lower Marine Molasse and its age is Rupelian and it consists of shallow marine sand and marl
Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can refer generally to the study of the features of any terrestrial planet. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth by providing the evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life. Geology plays a role in engineering and is a major academic discipline. The majority of data comes from research on solid Earth materials. These typically fall into one of two categories and unconsolidated material, the majority of research in geology is associated with the study of rock, as rock provides the primary record of the majority of the geologic history of the Earth. There are three types of rock, igneous and metamorphic. The rock cycle is an important concept in geology which illustrates the relationships between three types of rock, and magma. When a rock crystallizes from melt, it is an igneous rock, the sedimentary rock can be subsequently turned into a metamorphic rock due to heat and pressure and is weathered, eroded and lithified, ultimately becoming a sedimentary rock.
Sedimentary rock may be re-eroded and redeposited, and metamorphic rock may undergo additional metamorphism, all three types of rocks may be re-melted, when this happens, a new magma is formed, from which an igneous rock may once again crystallize. Geologists study unlithified material which typically comes from more recent deposits and these materials are superficial deposits which lie above the bedrock. Because of this, the study of material is often known as Quaternary geology. This includes the study of sediment and soils, including studies in geomorphology and this theory is supported by several types of observations, including seafloor spreading, and the global distribution of mountain terrain and seismicity. This coupling between rigid plates moving on the surface of the Earth and the mantle is called plate tectonics. The development of plate tectonics provided a basis for many observations of the solid Earth. Long linear regions of geologic features could be explained as plate boundaries, mid-ocean ridges, high regions on the seafloor where hydrothermal vents and volcanoes exist, were explained as divergent boundaries, where two plates move apart.
Arcs of volcanoes and earthquakes were explained as convergent boundaries, where one plate subducts under another, transform boundaries, such as the San Andreas Fault system, resulted in widespread powerful earthquakes. Plate tectonics provided a mechanism for Alfred Wegeners theory of continental drift and they provided a driving force for crustal deformation, and a new setting for the observations of structural geology
The Matterhorn is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. It is a huge and near-symmetrical pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, whose summit is 4,478 metres high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. The four steep faces, rising above the glaciers, face the four compass points and are split by the Hörnli, Leone. The mountain overlooks the Swiss town of Zermatt in the canton of Valais to the north-east, just east of the Matterhorn is Theodul Pass, the main passage between the two valleys on its north and south sides and a trade route since the Roman Era. The Matterhorn was studied by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure in the eighteenth century. It remained unclimbed after most of the other great Alpine peaks had been attained, the first ascent of the Matterhorn was finally made in 1865 from Zermatt by a party led by Edward Whymper but ended disastrously when four of its members fell to their deaths on the descent.
That climb and disaster, portrayed in films, marked the end of the golden age of alpinism. The north face was not climbed until 1931, and is amongst the three biggest north faces of the Alps, known as the ‘The Trilogy’, the west face, which is the highest of the four, was completely climbed only in 1962. It is estimated that over 500 alpinists have died on the Matterhorn since the first climb in 1865, making it one of the deadliest peaks in the world. The current shape of the mountain is the result of erosion due to multiple glaciers diverging from the peak, such as the Matterhorn Glacier at the base of the north face. Sometimes referred to as the Mountain of Mountains, the Matterhorn has become an emblem of the Swiss Alps. Since the end of the 19th century, when railways were built in the area, each year a large number of mountaineers try to climb the Matterhorn from the Hörnli Hut via the northeast Hörnli ridge, the most popular route to the summit. Many trekkers undertake the 10-day-long circuit around the mountain, the Matterhorn is part of the Swiss Federal Inventory of Natural Monuments since 1983.
Decomposing Matterhorn yields Matter and Horn, here Matter is Matte in the case. Commonly, prepositions related to Zermatt are dropped as in Matterhorn, Mattertal, in Sebastian Münsters Cosmography, published in 1543, the name Matter is given to the Theodul Pass, which seems to be the origin of the present German name of the mountain. On Münsters topographical map this group is marked under the names of Augstalberg, the French name Cervin, from which the Italian term Cervino derives, stems from the Latin Mons Silvanus where silva, means forest which was corrupted to Selvin and Servin. The change of the first letter s to c is attributed to Horace Bénédict de Saussure, servius Galba, in order to carry out Caesars orders, came with his legions from Allobroges to Octodurum in the Valais, and pitched his camp there. It is unknown when the new name of Servin, or Cervin, replaced the old, the Matterhorn is named Gran Becca by the Valdôtains and Horu by the local Walliser German speaking people
Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most-populous continent. At about 30.3 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earths total surface area and 20.4 % of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the human population. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos and it contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. Africas population is the youngest amongst all the continents, the age in 2012 was 19.7. Algeria is Africas largest country by area, and Nigeria by population, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – with the earliest Homo sapiens found in Ethiopia being dated to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas, it is the continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones. Africa hosts a diversity of ethnicities and languages. In the late 19th century European countries colonized most of Africa, Africa varies greatly with regard to environments, historical ties and government systems.
However, most present states in Africa originate from a process of decolonization in the 20th century, afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of Africa, which in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean. This name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe. The name is connected with Hebrew or Phoenician ʿafar dust. The same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province of Africa Proconsularis, which included the coastal part of modern Libya. The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land, the Muslim kingdom of Ifriqiya, modern-day Tunisia, preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while Asia was used to refer to Anatolia, as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of Africa expanded with their knowledge. 25,4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya, isidore of Seville in Etymologiae XIV.5.2.
Suggests Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning sunny, massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning to turn toward the opening of the Ka. The Ka is the double of every person and the opening of the Ka refers to a womb or birthplace
Flysch is a sequence of sedimentary rocks that is deposited in a deep marine facies in the foreland basin of a developing orogen. Flysch is typically deposited during a stage of the orogenesis. When the orogen evolves, the basin becomes shallower and molasse is deposited on top of the flysch. It is therefore called a syn-orogenic sediment, Flysch consists of repeated sedimentary cycles with upwards fining of the sediments. At the bottom of each cycle are sometimes coarse conglomerates or breccias, Flysch typically consists of a sequence of shales rhythmically interbedded with thin, graywacke-like sandstones. Typically the shales do not contain fossils, the coarser sandstones often have fractions of micas. Flysch is formed under deep marine circumstances, in a quiet, the coarser layers are disruptions in these circumstances, caused by pulsewise flows of mass transport from the forming orogenic wedge. In many cases the mass transports are represented in the record by turbidites, Flysch deposits form at convergent plate boundaries at the stage of continental collision, often in remnant ocean basins that are present along the same boundary.
The sedimentary material in the flysch is derived from the forming mountains, the same ocean basin is in the process of subducting under the orogenic wedge. As subduction continues, the sediments are scraped off the down-going oceanic plate and are accreted onto the orogenic wedge. As a result, flysch deposits are often deformed by thrust faulting and folding. The name flysch was introduced in literature by the Swiss geologist Bernhard Studer in 1827. Studer used the term for the typical alternations of sandstone and shale in the foreland of the Alps, the name comes from the German word fliessen, which means to flow, because Studer thought flysch was deposited by rivers. The insight that flysch is actually a deep marine sediment typical for a plate tectonic setting came only much later. The name flysch is currently used in many mountain chains belonging to the Alpine belt, well-known flysch deposits are found in the forelands of the Pyrenees and Carpathians and in tectonically similar regions in Italy, the Balkans and on Cyprus.
In the northern Alps, the Flysch is a lithostratigraphic unit,1999, Earth System History, W. H. Freeman and Company, New York, ISBN 0-7167-2882-6. Einsele, G.2000, Sedimentary Basins, Facies, Flysch in, Encyclopædia Britannica 2010 Online. As accessed on 23 April 2010
The Dent Blanche is a mountain in the Pennine Alps, lying in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. With its 4,357 metres -high summit, it is one of the highest peaks in the Alps, the original name was probably Dent dHérens, the actual name of the nearby Dent dHérens which does not overlook the Val dHérens. The nearby north face of the Dent dHérens is glaciated while the Dent Blanche holds much less snow, in fact on older maps, in the area where lie both summits, only the name Weisszahnhorn was indicated, the French name appearing in 1820 only. The actual names are official since the completion of the Dufour map in 1862, the summit of Dent Blanche is an important geographic place as it is the converging point of three ridges. The three valleys separated by them are the Val dHérens, Val dAnniviers and Mattertal, the respective villages of Evolène, Zinal and Zermatt lie approximatively at the same distance of the mountain. The four ridges encompass almost exactly the four cardinal directions, the west ridge is named Arête de Ferpècle and the east ridge is named Arête des Quatre Ânes.
The Col de la Dent Blanche lies at the foot of the northern ridge, the Dent Blanche Hut lies at the foot of the southern ridge which is used as the normal route. The region around Dent Blanche consists of many 4000 metres peaks, the Ober Gabelhorn, Dent dHérens and Matterhorn are the closest high summits. The first ascent was made via the ridge, which is the less difficult route to the summit. On 12 July 1862, T. S. Kennedy, after an attempt on the east face of the unconquered Matterhorn, almost reached the summit with the guides Peter Taugwalder, but after a minor accident, Peter Taugwalder refused to go any higher. Kennedy would finally reach the only a few days later, on July 18,1862 with W. Wigram, J. Croz and J. Konig. A route on the west ridge was opened on 11 August 1882 by John Stafford Anderson and G. P. Baker, with guides Alois Pollinger of St. Niklaus in the canton Valais and Ulrich Almer. They started from the Mountet Hut and arrived at the summit after a difficult 12 hours climbing on a ridge overlooking the north face.
As Almer said on the summit, We are four asses, the north ridge was explored in 1899. On 28 August O. G. Jones, F. W. Hill with guides E. Furrer, zurbriggen and J. Vuignier headed to the summit but they fell and only Hill survived. He reached alone the summit and a storm forced him to make a bivouac and he could report the news of the fatal accident in Zermatt only two days later. The first ascent of the face is attributed to K. Schneider. They climbed from the part at the base of the face to the summit