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Folds and faults

Mountains

A panorama of the Andes Mountains in ChileA panorama of the Andes Mountains in Chile In those regions where tectonic plates push against one another, the land ‘‘folds up” like a rug on the floor. This process, called orogeny, is how many mountain ranges, over periods of millions of years, are formed. The great mountain ranges of the world, including the Andes in South America, the Rockies in North America, the Alps in Europe and the Himalayas in Asia, are all fold mountain ranges.


A topographical map of the HimalayasA topographical map of the Himalayas

The Himalayas

The Himalayas (more correctly known as the Himalayan-Karakoram range) is the greatest continental mountain range. It divides China in the north from Pakistan and India in the south. Nepal and Bhutan lie entirely within the Himalayas. The top ten summits, as well as about 90% of the world’s 100 highest peaks, are found here. The highest peak of all (measured from sea level) is Mount Everest, 8848 metres (29,029 feet) above sea level, which lies on the Tibet-Nepal border.




A diagram of the collision of two tectonic platesA diagram of the collision of two tectonic plates 

Colliding plates

The top ten summits in the world, as well as about 90% of the world’s 100 highest peaks, are found in the Himalayas.

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