The science of geology deals with the ever-changing surface of the earth and the mechanisms which operate to facilitate these changes. Plate Tectonics is one of the major forces that shape the landscape of the earth, causing phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain-building. Another force which actively alters the earth’s surface erosion from wind or water.
Most mountains are formed by the uplifting of a continent due to tectonic forces. For example, the tallest mountains on Earth, the Himalayas, are still rising as India continues to plow into the Asian plate, a process which began 50 million years ago. In contrast, the Appalachian Mountains were formed when the North American plate crashed into the Eurasian plate over 225 million years ago. Because that collision is over with, the Appalachians are getting smaller, a combination of no more uplift and substantial and ongoing erosion.
Mountains of the World
Canadian Rockies — This beautiful range of the Rockies (which extend from northern Canada down to Mexico) has its culmination for the tourist in the national parks around Banff and Jasper, Alberta.
Rocky Mountains, USA — An extension of the Canadian Rockies (see above) the American version is exemplified by Glacier National Park in Montana.
The Swiss Alps, Switzerland — These iconic mountains are among the tallest in Europe and offer an incredible variety of recreational opportunities throughout the year. Perhaps the most recognized of these Alps is the Matterhorn.
German Alps, Germany — The southern part of Bavaria contains Germany’s contribution to the Alps. They are not nearly as tall as the alps of other countries but are nevertheless impressive.
Emei Mountain, China — In China, a number of mountains are sacred and are the subject of Chinese Art and/or poetry. Among them is Emei Mountain. It is located in south central China, near Chengdu.
Laurentian Mountains, Quebec Province, Canada — This area of Canada contains some of the oldest rocks on Earth. One of the major recreation areas in the Laurentians is Mont-Tremblant, one of Canada’s premier ski areas.
Appalachian Mountains, eastern USA — This older mountain range which runs from Canada down to the Deep South (Alabama & Georgia) was once as tall as the Rockies. Erosion has reduced these mountains to mere hills when compared with other ranges.
Alaskan Coastal Range — There are many mountain ranges in Alaska. Some of the most dramatic are the Coastal Mountains since they rise precipitously from the sea..