How were the Andes mountains formed definition types

What is a mountain range?

The Andes, the Pyrenees, the Himalayas … these are some of the most famous mountain ranges in the world. Large landscapes can be defined as a series of interconnected mountains that extend over the surface of a terrain. That is a set of mountains that are located together in the same point of land and between which there are different connections. Here we will inform you How were the Andes mountains formed?

The Andes mountain range is the longest of all land alpine systems and stretches along the entire western coast of South America. These mountains are part of the Andean-Cordillera mountain range, which stretches from Alaska in the north through the west of the Americas to Antarctica in the south.

The Andes are the highest mountains outside of Eurasia. The highest peak of this system, Mount Aconcagua, has a height of 6962 meters, making it the highest in the entire Southern Hemisphere. Also here is the highest volcano on the planet, O’jos del Salado (height reaches 6887 meters), which is second only to Aconcagua in height. The Andes pass through the territory of the following countries:

These mountains affect the climate of the entire continent, and because of them, South America is the wettest continent on the planet. This is because winds carrying moisture from the Atlantic collide with the Andes, and a huge amount of precipitation falls on their eastern slopes.

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Formation of the Andes

The cause of these mountains is the collision of two lithospheric plates. Lithospheric are the large plates that make up the solid part of the planet. Plates are of two main types: oceanic and continental. There are also mixed plates, part of which is occupied by the ocean floor, and part of which is the surface of the continent (for example, the Indo-Australian plate). These plates are constantly moving and sometimes collide or diverge. Upon collision, the marginal parts of the two plates begin to shrink with tremendous force, and the rocks rise to the top, forming mountain ranges. The Andes were formed in the same way. They are located at the junction of the Nazca oceanic plate, which occupies the southeastern Pacific Ocean and the continental plate of South America. Since oceanic plates are much thinner than continental plates, they enter under the continent, and squeezed under the weight of sushi. Similarly, at the site of the collision of the Nazca plate and the Antarctic, the so-called Antarctic Andes, mountains on the Antarctic Peninsula, were formed.

The Andes mountain range formed much earlier than scientists thought, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The Andes (Andean Cordilleras) are the longest continental mountain range in the world, which has a huge impact on the climate.

The Andes mountain range extends over 4,500 miles (7,250 km) in length, about 120,430 miles (190–690 km) wide, from the northern coast of Venezuela along the entire western coast of South America.

The mountain range consists of a series of complex parallel ridges. Mountain building processes continue in our time. This is due to the fact that a subduction zone passes along the Pacific coast of South America: the Nazca and Antarctic plates are gradually sinking under the South American plate.

Among scientists, the prevailing opinion was that the Andes mountain system was formed from 6 to 10 million years ago, as a result of the rapid uplift of deep rocks due to the thickening of the earth’s crust.

Knowledge of the processes and timing of the formation of mountain systems is of particular importance for understanding their impact on the global circulation of the atmosphere and, ultimately, on the climate.

With the goal of determining the time of the rise of the Andes, a team of researchers from the University of Bristol, the Center for Environmental Research at Scottish Universities and the University of Aberdeen used a new method based on the study of a rare form of helium – cosmogenic helium-3, which forms in minerals on the Earth’s surface as a result of exposure to cosmic rays.

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The number of isotopes of cosmogenic helium-3 depends on the height of the mountain surface and can help restore the historical picture of the formation of mountainous terrain.

Scientists analyzed the composition of the boulders, which were located at an altitude of about 1.2 miles (2 km) in the arid western outskirts of the Andes.

Studies have shown that already 15 million years ago, the height of this mountainous region was equal to the present.

“It is very likely that the Andes grew slowly for at least the last 30 million years, as a result of the gradual thickening of the earth’s crust,” said Laura Evenstar, team leader at the University of Bristol.

According to her, this means that the rise of the Andes began to have a large-scale impact on global atmospheric circulation processes at least four million years earlier than scientists expected.

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