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A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills arranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and alignment that have arisen from the same cause, usually an orogeny.[1] Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are also found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are likely a feature of most terrestrial planets.

Mountain ranges are usually segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not necessarily have the same geologic structure or petrology. They may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, and volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types.

Most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide belt. The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Andes of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka Peninsula, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand.[2] The Andes is 7,000 kilometres (4,350 mi) long and is often considered the world's longest mountain system.[3]

The Alpide belt stretches 15,000 km across southern Eurasia, from Java in Maritime Southeast Asia to the Iberian Peninsula in Western Europe, including the ranges of the Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Alborz, Caucasus, and the Alps.[4] The Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, which is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) high.[5]

Mountain ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, Appalachians, Great Dividing Range, East Siberians, Altais, Scandinavians, Qinling, Western Ghats, Vindhyas, Byrrangas, and the Annamite Range. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains, then the Ocean Ridge forms the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of 65,000 kilometres (40,400 mi).[6]

The position of mountain ranges influences climate, such as rain or snow. When air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools, producing orographic precipitation (rain or snow). As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again (following the adiabatic lapse rate) and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture. Often, a rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range.[7] As a consequence, large mountain ranges, such as the Andes, compartmentalize continents into distinct climate regions.

Mountain ranges are constantly subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down. The basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are then filled with sediments that are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains.

The early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some 10,000 feet (3,000 m) of mostly Mesozoic sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains to the east.[8] This mass of rock was removed as the range was actively undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most likely caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight.

Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment. Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides.[9]

Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System, including the Moon, are often isolated and formed mainly by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges (or "Montes") somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon Titan[10] and Pluto,[11] in particular, exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed mainly of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes and Doom Mons on Titan, and Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes on Pluto. Some terrestrial planets other than Earth also exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes on Venus taller than any on Earth[12] and Tartarus Montes on Mars.[13] Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including the Boösaule, Dorian, Hi'iaka and Euboea Montes'.[14]

Even as the uplift of the Alaska Range continues, weathering and erosion are constantly working to tear it down. Weather and water, in the form of wind, rain, frost, streams, rivers and glaciers, have the power to turn mountains into molehills.

Erratics are rocks that are foreign to the surrounding terrain. They differ from the types of rock found where they are deposited.The rocks embedded in glacial ice grind away at bedrock, forming the jagged ridges and deep U-shaped valleys found in the range. Large blocks of ice can be stranded in the moraines left behind by retreating glaciers. When they finally melt, a water-filled depression known as a kettle lake develops. The carving action of ice forms many of the elongated lakes in the upper Susitna Valley to the south of Denali, and examination of a map reveals that they are all oriented in the direction that the ice was moving.

This is a list of mountain ranges on Earth and a few other astronomical bodies. First, the highest and longest mountain ranges on Earth are listed, followed by more comprehensive alphabetical lists organized by continent. Ranges in the oceans and on other celestial bodies are listed afterwards.

Note 1: A peak included in the "Eastern Pamirs"[1] more often than in the Kunlun Mountains, as Kongur Tagh and the Kunlun range are separated by the large Yarkand River valley; no valley of such significance separates the Pamirs and Kongur Tagh, just political boundaries.

All of the Asian ranges above have been formed in part over the past 35 to 55 million years by the collision between the Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate. The Indian Plate is still particularly mobile and these mountain ranges continue to rise in elevation every year and this page may need to be updated in a few years; of these the Himalayas are rising most quickly; the Kashmir and Pamirs region to the north of the Indian subcontinent is the point of confluence of these mountains which encircle the Tibetan Plateau.

About 90 percent of the mid-ocean ridge system is under the ocean. This system of mountains and valleys criss-crosses the globe, resembling the stitches in a baseball. It's formed by the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates.

As the great plates push apart, mountains and valleys form along the seafloor as magma rises up to fill the gaps. As the Earth's crust spreads, new ocean floor is created. This process literally renews the surface of our planet.

The Belknap Mountain Range is a prominent range west of Lake Winnipesaukee in the towns of Gilford, Gilmanton, and Alton, NH. The range and the county in which it rises were named for Jeremy Belknap (1744-1796), author of the first comprehensive history of New Hampshire and a member of one of the early (1784) scientific expeditions to Mt. Washington (though Belknap himself did not reach the summit). The principal peaks on the main ridge, from north to south, are Mt. Rowe (1,690 ft.), Gunstock Mtn. (2,250 ft.), Belknap Mtn. (2,382 ft .), and Piper Mtn. (2,044 ft.). A fire tower on Belknap and the cleared summit of Gunstock, as well as numerous scattered ledges on all the peaks, provide fine views of Lake Winnipesaukee, the Ossipee and Sandwich ranges, and Mt. Washington. Principal trailheads are located at the Gunstock Mountain Resort (east side) and Belknap Carriage Rd. (west side). The East Gilford Trail also ascends from the east. Paths along the ridge connect all four summits. Mt. Major (1,786 ft.), which has excellent views over Lake Winnipesaukee, is located in Alton, east of the main Belknap Mtns. A long, lumpy ridge runs east from Belknap Mtn. to Mt. Major, consisting of Straightback Mtn. (1,910 ft.) and several other humps that are officially nameless but have been given local names by the Boy Scouts of the Hidden Valley Scout Reservation: Mt. Klem (2,001 ft.), Mt. Mack (1,945 ft.), and Mt. Anna (1,670 ft.). A parallel ridge to the north is sometimes called the Quarry Mountains. The jewel of this range is Round Pond, a beautiful and secluded mountain pond lying at the foot of Mt. Klem, just south of the main ridgecrest, at an elevation of 1,652 ft.

The Snowy Range Mountains are a true gem of southeastern Wyoming. Shaped by a rich glacial history, the high alpine scenery of this range is stunning and boasts over 100 pristine lakes amidst a backdrop of looming quartzite peaks. The months of July and August bring a gorgeous array of wildflowers, and wildlife sightings are not uncommon and may include critters such as pica, marmots, foxes, moose, and, less frequently but still prevalent, black bears, and mountain lions.

Castner Range National Monument consists of 6,672 acres of high-desert mountains, making up the southern component of the Franklin Mountain range, just outside of El Paso, Texas. Located on Fort Bliss Military Base, Castner Range served as the training and testing site for the U.S. Army from 1926-1966. The Army ceased training at the site and closed Castner Range in 1966.

Before the U.S. Army used the lands, Castner Range was home to the Apache and Pueblo peoples and the Comanche Nation, the Hopi Tribe, and Kiowa Indian Tribe of Oklahoma. The Castner Range area contains more than 40 known archeological sites including living structures, hearths, remnants of pottery and other tools, as well as a myriad of petroglyphs and images on the rock faces that make up the canyons and mountains of Castner Range. 59ce067264


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