How Mountains are Formed

Seamlessly rising up out of the earth, mountain formations are a beautiful to look at it, and offer us a plethora of enjoyment in the way of hiking, skiing, snowboarding,mountain biking, and much more. Mountains are one of the most majestic land formations you can find on earth.

It is fascinating to gaze out over the landscape of earth and wonder how these mountain formations came to be.

While we prepare to examine how mountains are formed, it is important to note that different mountain types are formed in different ways. We will examine each type separately.

Folded mountains:

These are the most common type of mountain. A Folded Mountain, or sometimes just called Fold Mountain, is created when two tectonic plates collide causing their edges to crumble. An intense pressure occurs, and the only place for the land to move is upward. This is how Folded Mountains are created. Almost every continent can boast their very own Folded Mountain range.

Appalachian:  United States

Himalayan: Asia

Alps: Europe

Andes: South America

Volcanic mountains:

Of course better known simply as “volcanoes”, Volcanic Mountains can be found standing alone, or within a chain. A Volcanic Mountain is formed when lava and magma move to the surface and ultimately burst through the earth’s crust. A volcano is the earth’s way of releasing heat. As magma continues to build up underneath the surface, additional volcano eruptions are possible. 

Some famous volcanoes on Earth include “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean, Mauna Kea in Hawaii and Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Erosional mountains:

Erosional Mountains form due to wind and weather conditions. Severe weather can come in and wear away at the land, breaking off and carrying bits of it to other areas. What is left behind is a very strong piece of land, usually formed with rock, that resisted all weather conditions and remains standing tall and strong.  

A great example of an Erosional Mountain is Pikes’ Peak in Colorado. Pike’s Peak is actually a large mass of granite that has been virtually indestructible.

Fault block mountains:

Fault Block Mountains are formed when cracks within the earth’s crust force blocks of earth up and down, actually creating mountains and valleys. Due to the movement pattern of the earth, Fault Block Mountains often are seen with a steep side and a sloping side.

A famous Fault Block Mountain range is found in the Sierra Nevada’s, located in the Western United States. 

Mountains are a beautiful additional to our Earth’s landscape. They hold hidden dangers as well, and thus must be respected. Mountains have existed on Earth as far back as scientists have been able to study. Enjoy them in all their glory!

For more information on the formations of mountains, including video clips, please visit: