Different Types of Mountains
Whether you live near the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the Black Hills of South Dakota or the Tetons of Idaho and Wyoming, mountains make the world more beautiful and interesting. They’re fun to hike and they offer a haven for many animals and birds. During war, people have often fled to the mountains for safety and refuge.
But how are mountains made? Mountains form over millions of years in several different ways. Some mountains form when volcanoes erupt over and over again. The lava builds up to make a mountain. The islands of Hawaii are all merely the tips of volcanoes that started under the ocean.
Other mountains happen when two plates of the earth’s crust slam up against each other. Have you ever seen two cars after a head-on collision? The front ends of both cars are crumpled up. That’s a bit like mountain formation.
Most mountain ranges are millions of years old. They are made when two plates beneath the Earth’s crust collide, causing the land to buckle and rise. The Himalayan mountains began forming this way about 55 million years ago. The Himalayan mountain range has 30 of the world’s tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, which soars 29,035 feet in the air.
If you’re lucky enough to live near mountains, you know there’s something special about them. Towering majestically above the surrounding area, they provide shelter from stormy weather and water as the snow melts. They offer a sanctuary for animals, birds and plants, and don’t forget the skiing!
Fun Facts about Mountains for Kids
- Any land mass that rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding area is considered a mountain.
- Some mountains are caused by volcanoes spewing lava over and over again. The lava cools and hardens and builds up to form a mountain. The islands of Hawaii are actually volcanoes.
- Sometimes, a volcano doesn’t erupt through the crust, but just sort of leaks lava underneath, pushing up a rounded area. This type of mountain is called a dome mountain. The Adirondacks in New York and the Black Hills in South Dakota are dome mountains.
- The summit or peak is the highest point on a mountain.
- A mountain range is a string of mountains near each other. The Rocky Mountain range is the second longest mountain range in the world. It stretches from Canada to Mexico.
- Plateau mountains look like tall squares. Plateaus form when tectonic plates collide with each other but don’t buckle the surface.
- Fault block mountains occur when the tectonic plates collide with each other and form cracks in the earth’s surface. Rocks are pushed upward when this happens. The Sierras in Nevada and the Tetons of Wyoming are fault block mountains.
- Haven: safe, protected place
- Refuge: comfort, safety, protection
- Erupt: blow up
- Collision: when two things run into each other
- Majestic: awesome, large, grand
- Stormy: storm-like, rough
- Sanctuary: place of shelter, safety and peace
- Collide: run into
- Buckle: collapse, fold, break
Easy Science All About Mountains for Kids Video
Check out this video all about mountains:
A fun exploration video about mountains and how they are formed. Watch this video to learn more all about mountains!
Question: Do mountains affect weather?
Answer: Mountains can slow down storms moving from the ocean, causing rain to drop. The other side of a mountain is usually drier.
Question: Are mountains dangerous?
Answer: Weather conditions change rapidly on mountain ranges. Lightning and rain storms are common in the summer and fierce snowstorms rise up quickly in the winter. The air is thin on tall mountains, making it hard to breathe. Always hike with someone who is experienced with mountains.
Question: How high are mountains?
Answer: If you’ve ever gone hiking, you might have heard of “14-ers.” Many hikers set a goal of climbing a 14-er, which means climbing a mountain that reaches 14,000 feet high. At this height, the air is thin and thunder storms are frequent. You have to know what you’re doing and plan carefully. If you visit the Rocky Mountains, the Tetons or the Sierra Mountains, you’ll find lots of tall mountains to climb.
But, the highest mountain peak in the world, Mt. Everest, stretches almost 30,000 feet into the air – over 5 ½ miles! Climbing to this height is downright dangerous and many people have died trying.
Enjoyed the Earth Science for Kids all about Mountains info? Take the FREE & fun all about Mountains quiz and download FREE all about Mountains worksheet for kids. For lengthy info click here.
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Declan, Tobin. " Fun Mountain Facts for Kids ." Easy Science for Kids, May 2017. Web. 28 May 2017. < http://easyscienceforkids.com/all-about-mountains/ >.
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