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Mountain Belt Formation

Mountain Belt Formation

Complete sections A and B of this appendix.

A. Briefly describe each feature associated with mountain belts.

Characteristics How it is related to
mountain belt formation
accumulation stage
orogenic stage
uplift stage
block faulting

B. Investigate two mountain belts (or ranges) which have features that are distinctly different from each other. Using the guiding questions below, 200 or more words describe the appearance and history of each mountain belt. In summarizing your investigation of the two mountain belts, describe the differences in appearance that indicate whether the mountains are relatively old or young. You may use your textbook, the Internet, or the University Library to look up information on various mountain ranges.

1. Identify the geographical location (city, state, and country) of each mountain belt.

2. What rock types are present in each mountain formation? Is one type of rock more prevalent than others?

3. What other geological features are present in the area that may have contributed to the mountain formation? Consider continental edges, streams, volcanic activity, earthquake faults, extreme surface temperatures, and other factors.

4. What visual features indicate whether this mountain range is in an early stage of development or in a later stage?

Solution Preview

This information should answer question A:
Mountain belt formation occurs when tectonic plates collide as a result of continental drift. It occurs over long periods of time, and consists of three stages. During accumulation phase, sequences of sedimentary or volcanic rocks are deposited. Most sedimentary and some volcanic rocks are deposited in a marine environment, and are derived from some nearby continental or island arc area. In the orogenic stage of mountain building, the accumulated sediments become deformed by compressional forces from the collision of tectonic plates. During the uplift stage, The uplift and block faulting stage occurs after the orogenic stage has ended, when compressional forces have relaxed.

Block faulting occurs when a block of crust gets elevated between two normal faults, you get what is called a Horst. Horsts make blocklike plateaus that have flat tops and steep straight sides. In regions where faulting takes place on a grand scale, this produces mountain masses called fault block mountains.

Erosion is the process that continually wears mountains down, creating sediment from which new mountains can be built.
Some mountains are volcanic in origin forming where rising magma (molten rock) breaks. ...

Solution Summary

Stages in mountain belt formation. Exploration of upwarped and fault-block mountain ranges.