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How many dirrerent types of mountain belts are there?
Question Date: 2012-02-13
Answer 1:

There are basically two kinds of mountain BELTS, plus a third "type" which often occurs with the other two.

The first type is basically the wrinkles in the Earth's crust caused by plates or pieces of plates ramming into each-other. On land, this is by far the most common type, and most of the major mountain ranges that we normally think of including the largest mountain ranges in the world formed by the collision of India with Asia, with the exception of the Sierra Nevada, are of this type.

The second type consists of where you have an elevating plateau in which linear blocks drop out in the midst of the plateau, forming valleys in-between the still-elevated parts, which are the mountain ranges. The Sierra Nevada and most of the mountains of Nevada and much of Arizona fall into this category.

The third "type" is volcanic mountain belts, which really are just volcanoes that form as lines of magmatic activity causes eruptions on the surface, forming the volcanoes. However, they're not continuous. This said, most often these co-occur with one or the other of the above types, most often the wrinkles in the crust. The Cascades and the Andes are examples of these.

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