Types of Mountains

There are three types of mountains—fold mountains, block mountains, and volcanic mountains.


Types of Mountains #1

Fold Mountains

  • Fold mountains are caused by large-scale movements taking place inside the Earth’s crust. These movements are caused by various factors such as the movements in the mantle and the expansion and contraction of some parts of the Earth. These are horizontal movements.
  • Fold mountains are formed when two tectonic plates move towards each other leading to the folding of the layers of the Earth. The up folds are called anticlines and the down folds are called synclines.
  • Examples: the Himalayas in Asia, the Andes in South America, the Alps in Europe

Chief characteristics of fold mountains

  • Fold mountains are some of the youngest mountains of the Earth.
  • Most of the fold mountains are formed of sedimentary rocks. These sedimentary rocks were formed because of the deposition and collection of sediments in shallow oceans such as the Tethys (a hollow depression from where the Himalayas have emerged).
  • Fold mountains are greater in length but comparatively smaller in width.
  • Fold mountains are associated with volcanic activities as they have many active volcanoes.
  • Many islands existing on the surface of the Earth such as the West Indies are the top surface of many fold mountains which exist under the seas.

Types of Mountains #2

Block Mountains

  • Block mountains are formed because of faulting. Block mountains are formed when two tectonic plates move away from each other causing cracks on the surface of the Earth.
  • When parallel cracks or faults occur, the strip of land or the block of land between them may be raised resulting in the formation of block mountains. The upward block is called a horst. Examples: Black forest and Vosges of Rhineland
  • Block mountains are also formed when the crust of the Earth sinks on both sides of the two parallel faults. Therefore, a block mountain can be found between the two rift valleys. The land which sinks is known as graben. Example: East African rift valleys

Types of Mountains #3

Volcanic Mountains

  • Volcanic mountains are formed by volcanic eruptions. It occurs when molten rock or magma under the surface of the Earth erupts.
  • Magma which flows out on the Earth’s surface is called lava. The accumulation of lava and its subsequent cooling results in the building of a volcanic mountain.
  • Examples: Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Fiji in Japan

Also, Read Landforms of the Earth