Portal:Mountains

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Introduction

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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Glacier foreland beneath the Langgletscher in Switzerland

The region between the current leading edge of the glacier and the moraines of latest maximum is called glacier foreland or glacier forefield. In the Alps this maximum was in 1850 and since then the region has become ice free due to deglaciation. Because of this relative recent development of vegetation and morphodynamic the glacier foreland differs considerably from the surrounding landscape. Read more...

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Sneeuberg, the highest peak in the Cederberg, with the Maltese Cross in the foreground.

The Cederberg mountains (Afrikaans: Sederberg) and nature reserve are located near Clanwilliam, approximately 300 km north of Cape Town, South Africa at about . The mountain range is named after the endangered Clanwilliam cedar (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis), which is a tree endemic to the area. The mountains are noted for dramatic rock formations and San rock art. The Cederberg Wilderness Area is administered by CapeNature.

Cederberg is now the generally accepted spelling for the area, which combines the English (Cedarberg) and Afrikaans (Sederberg) variants. Read more...

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Mayon Volcano in the Philippines has a symmetrical volcanic cone.

Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcanic landforms. They are built by ejecta from a volcanic vent, piling up around the vent in the shape of a cone with a central crater. Volcanic cones are of different types, depending upon the nature and size of the fragments ejected during the eruption. Types of volcanic cones include stratocones, spatter cones, tuff cones, and cinder cones. Read more...

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A mass of ice calves from the Perito Moreno glacier in Lago Argentino

Ice calving, also known as glacier calving or iceberg calving, is the breaking of ice chunks from the edge of a glacier. It is a form of ice ablation or ice disruption and is normally caused by the glacier expanding. It is the sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier, iceberg, ice front, ice shelf, or crevasse. The ice that breaks away can be classified as an iceberg, but may also be a growler, bergy bit, or a crevasse wall breakaway.

Calving of glaciers is often accompanied by a loud cracking or booming sound before blocks of ice up to 60 metres (200 ft) high break loose and crash into the water. The entry of the ice into the water causes large, and often hazardous waves. The waves formed in locations like Johns Hopkins Glacier can be so large that boats cannot approach closer than 3 kilometres (1.9 mi). These events have become major tourist attractions in locations such as Alaska. Read more...

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Researcher digging the snow cave for snow crystal photography at Finnish Aboa station on Queen Maud Land in Antarctica

A snow cave is a shelter constructed in snow by certain animals in the wild, human mountain climbers, winter recreational enthusiasts, and winter survivalists. It has thermal properties similar to an igloo and is particularly effective at providing protection from wind as well as low temperatures. A properly made snow cave can be 0 °C (32 °F) or warmer inside, even when outside temperatures are −40 °C (−40 °F).

A snow cave is constructed by excavating snow so that the tunnel entrance is below the main space to retain warm air. Construction is simplified by building it on a steep slope and digging slightly upwards and horizontally into the slope. The roof is domed to prevent dripping on the occupants. Adequate snow depth, free of rocks and ice, is needed—generally a depth of 4 to 5 ft (1.2 to 1.5 m) is sufficient. Another kind of snow cave is the quinzhee, which is constructed of snow rather than created by digging a hole out of (or displacing) snow. Read more...

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Ski lesson

A ski school is an establishment that teaches skiing, typically in a ski resort. The modern version of the ski school was invented by the Austrian ski pioneer Hannes Schneider in the early 1920s when he formalized instruction methods and established these methods as teaching principles for all ski instructors at his school. Read more...

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Shivling
Eruption of Pinatubo 1991

Flora and fauna

Climbing in Greece
Georg Winkler.jpg

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