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What makes mountains?

 
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Kiri



Joined: 13 Jun 2009
Posts: 471
Location: Latvia/Italy

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: What makes mountains? Reply with quote

Hey lads and lasses! Very Happy
I need an advice from an advanced worldbuilder. You see, I'm currently working on a map of a conworld of mine, and I want it to be as realistic as possible. So. I have a question.
What makes mountains!? Very Happy

As far as I know, it's got something to do with tectonic plates, but is there any other way?
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Tolkien_Freak



Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 1231
Location: in front of my computer. always.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not an expert in geology, but AFAIK it works two ways:

The main way is at seams between tectonic plates, generally where they push together. One plate is pushed up, and the material forms mountains. This is what generally makes big mountain ranges. The mountains can be left behind after the plates fuse and the seam disappears (like the Rocky Mountains here in the US - there's not a fault zone for 1000 miles or more).
I think you can also get mountains from where plates pull apart, but that might make trenches instead. (I don't remember.)

The other way is from small pockets of magma underneath tectonic plates, that create small, isolated volcanoes. When the plate moves, the magma doesn't, so the first volcano dies and a new one is made. Hawai'i has been made by this process, and AFAIK Yellowstone is sitting on one of these pockets too. You probably can't use this method to get big mountain ranges though, since it would have to be operating for implausible lengths of time to get more than ~10 max.

Keep in mind that mountains shrink over time due to erosion.

Hope that helps ^_^
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achemel



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 555
Location: up for debate

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's mostly plates pushing together and crumpling. Trenches are formed by pulling apart and subduction, when one plate slides under another (I think this happens exclusively underwater though). I like to think maybe some mountains were formed from meteors stacking on top of each other, but I'm sure the exact opposite is what happened in the event of multiple crash-landings by space debris.
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Kiri



Joined: 13 Jun 2009
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Location: Latvia/Italy

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both!
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achemel



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink
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I have some small knowledge of:
English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, French
I would like to learn:
(more) Chinese, Swedish, Italian, German, Indonesian, Tagalog, Gaelic
Main conlangs:
ddamachel, tadvaradcel, ra cel, lashel, hemnalg, nomah
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Count Iblis



Joined: 21 Jul 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes mountains are made from molehills.

Sorry, it had to be said.
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eldin raigmore
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Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 1621
Location: SouthEast Michigan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orogeny
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oronymy
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