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1 CHAPTER 11 2 How Mountains Form SECTION Deformation of the Crust KEY IDEAS As you read this section, keep these questions in mind: What kinds of plate collisions form mountains? What are four main types of mountains? How do folded and fault-block mountains form? What Is a Mountain Range? A mountain range is a group of mountains that have similar ages, shapes, and sizes, and that are close together. The mountains in a mountain range all formed in a similar way. Mount Everest, Earth s highest mountain, is part of the Great Himalaya Range. Mount St. Helens, a volcanic mountain in the northwest United States, is part of the Cascade Range. Groups of nearby mountain ranges form mountain systems. For example, the Appalachian mountain system is found in eastern North America. It is made up of the Great Smoky, Blue Ridge, Cumberland, Green, and White mountain ranges. Mountain systems, in turn, are part of even larger systems called mountain belts. Two of Earth s major mountain belts are the circum-pacific belt and the Eurasian-Melanesian belt. Many well-known mountain systems are part of these two belts. Both of these belts are located along convergent plate boundaries. The location of the belts is evidence that many mountains form as a result of tectonic plate collisions. The types of plates that collide affect the mountains that form. READING TOOLBOX Predict Before reading this section, write each heading in your journal. Below each subheading, write one or two sentences about what you think you will learn in that subsection. As you read, write down what you learn. READING CHECK 1. Describe What is a mountain system? 60ºN 30ºN AFRICA 0º ATLANTIC 30ºS EUROPE ASIA INDIAN AUSTRALIA Eurasian-Melanesian mountain belt Circum-Pacific mountain belt PACIFIC NORTH AMERICA ATLANTIC SOUTH AMERICA This map shows two of Earth s main mountain belts. 2. Apply Concepts The Cascade Range is in western North America. Along which mountain belt is the Cascade Range located? 60ºS 0º 30ºE 60ºE 90ºE 120ºE 150ºE 180º 150ºW 120ºW 90ºW 60ºW 30ºW ANTARCTICA Holt McDougal Earth Science 169 Deformation of the Crust

2 How Do Mountains Form? Mountains generally form when the lithospheres of two tectonic plates collide. Remember that there are two main kinds of lithosphere: oceanic and continental. The type of lithosphere at the edge of each of the colliding plates affects the type of mountains that form. READING CHECK 3. Explain Why does oceanic lithosphere subduct below continental lithosphere? IC-CONTINENTAL PLATE COLLISIONS Some mountains form when oceanic lithosphere and continental lithosphere collide. Oceanic lithosphere is denser than continental lithosphere. Therefore, when they collide, the oceanic lithosphere subducts, or sinks, beneath the continental lithosphere. The continental lithosphere is uplifted, so tall mountains form. The subduction of the oceanic lithosphere can cause some of the mantle to melt. This produces magma that can erupt and form volcanic Mountains can also form at these plate boundaries when pieces of crust are scraped off the ocean lithosphere. These pieces of crust, which are called terranes, become part of the continent. Active volcano 4. Identify What two processes probably helped to form the mountains in the picture? Magma Mountains and volcanoes form where an oceanic plate sinks beneath a continental plate. The Andes Mountains formed in this way. SUBDUCTION ZONE IC-IC PLATE COLLISIONS Volcanic mountains can also form when two plates containing oceanic lithosphere collide. When two oceanic plates collide, the denser plate subducts beneath the other plate. Fluids from the subducting lithosphere can cause the mantle to melt. Magma rises and breaks through the lithosphere. These eruptions form a chain of volcanic mountains on the ocean floor. The chain of mountains is called an island arc. Holt McDougal Earth Science 170 Deformation of the Crust

3 Trench Island arc volcanoes Oceanic lithosphere Oceanic lithosphere Athenosphere Subduction zone Island arcs form where two oceanic plates collide. The Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean are an example of such an island arc. CONTINENTAL-CONTINENTAL PLATE COLLISIONS In some areas, two continental plates collide. Continental lithosphere is less dense than the asthenosphere. Therefore, continental lithosphere cannot subduct. When two continental plates collide, the lithosphere on both plates is pushed up. The continental lithosphere is very thick. Therefore, continentalcontinental plate collisions produce extremely tall 5. Describe What process forms the mountains in island arcs? READING CHECK Deformed ocean-floor segments Continent B Continent A 6. Explain Why do continental-continental plate collisions produce very tall mountains? Magma Thrust faults The Himalaya Mountains are an example of a mountain range that is forming where two continental plates collide. Although magma forms where continents collide, it generally does not erupt. What Are the Different Types of Mountains? Mountains are more than just elevated parts of Earth s crust. They also contain important evidence of the stresses that created them. Geologists classify mountains based on their shapes and the ways they form. Holt McDougal Earth Science 171 Deformation of the Crust

4 Critical Thinking 7. Apply Concepts What type of strain is probably most common in folded mountains? FOLDED MOUNTAINS AND PLATEAUS Many of Earth s highest mountain ranges consist of folded Folded mountains form when tectonic plate movements squeeze rock layers together. The compression on the rocks makes them fold. Parts of the Alps, the Himalayas, and the Appalachians are folded The stresses that form folded mountains can also form plateaus. A plateau is a large, flat area of rock high above sea level. They can form when thick, horizontal layers of rock are slowly uplifted. This allows the layers to remain flat instead of folding. Plateaus can also form when layers of melted rock harden or when large areas of rock erode. Many plateaus are found near folded FAULT-BLOCK MOUNTAINS AND GRABENS In places where parts of Earth s crust have been stretched and broken into large blocks, fault-block mountains can form. These mountains form when faulting causes blocks of rock to tilt and drop relative to other blocks. The higher blocks become mountain peaks. The Sierra Nevada range in California consists of many faultblock 8. Explain How did the peaks of these mountains form? The Sierra Nevada range contains many fault-block The faulting that results in fault-block mountains can also form long, narrow valleys called grabens. Grabens and fault-block mountain ranges generally occur together. The mountains form when one block of rock rises relative to other blocks. Grabens form when one block slips downward. A famous graben found in the United States is Death Valley in California. Holt McDougal Earth Science 172 Deformation of the Crust

5 DOME MOUNTAINS Dome mountains are not as common as folded mountains or fault-block Dome mountains form when magma rising through Earth s crust pushes rock layers up, but does not erupt. Dome mountains may also form when tectonic forces gently uplift rock layers. Dome mountains are generally round and have gently sloping sides. This dome mountain is part of the Hudson Highlands in New York. 9. Describe What is the defining feature of this mountain? VOLCANIC MOUNTAINS Mountains that form when magma erupts onto Earth s surface are called volcanic Most volcanic mountains are part of mid-ocean ridges along divergent plate boundaries. The peaks of these mountains sometimes rise above sea level to form islands. Volcanic mountains are also common in places where oceanic-oceanic and oceanic-continental plate collisions happen. Other volcanic mountains form at hot spots. Most hot spots are far from plate boundaries. At a hot spot, hot, solid rock rises through the lithosphere. When the rock melts, the magma can erupt and form islands. Scientists are still not sure exactly what causes hot spots to form. Talk About It Apply Concepts Choose a mountain range in the United States. Use the Internet or library to learn how the mountain range formed. Share what you learn with a partner or a small group. Types of Mountains Type of Mountain Description Example Folded mountains mountains formed by compression and folding of the crust Alps, Appalachian Mountains, Himalaya Mountains Fault-block mountains Dome mountains Volcanic mountains mountains formed when blocks of rock move along large faults small, round mountains formed when magma pushes rock layers up mountains formed when lava erupts on Earth s surface Sierra Nevada Black Hills, Adirondack Mountains Hawaiian Islands, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Cascade Range 10. Infer The Hawaiian Islands are in the middle of a tectonic plate. What feature probably formed the Hawaiian Islands? Holt McDougal Earth Science 173 Deformation of the Crust

6 Section 2 Review SECTION VOCABULARY dome mountain a circular or elliptical, almost symmetrical elevation or structure in which the stratified rock slopes downward gently from the central point of folding fault-block mountain a mountain that forms where faulting breaks Earth s crust into large blocks, which causes some blocks to drop down relative to other blocks folded mountain a mountain that forms when rock layers are squeezed together and uplifted mountain range a series of mountains that are closely related in orientation, age, and mode of formation 1. Describe What characteristics do the mountains in a mountain range have in common? 2. Identify What are three types of plate collisions that can form mountains? 3. Compare What are the main differences between mountains that form where two continents collide and mountains that form where an oceanic plate collides with a continental plate? 4. Describe What is one difference between the way that folded mountains and fault-block mountains form? 5. Apply Concepts A geologist is studying a mountain. The mountain is small and round. Its sides are not very steep. How did the mountain most likely form? Explain your answer. Holt McDougal Earth Science 174 Deformation of the Crust

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