A mountain is quite the imposing landform – millions of tons of rocky material stacked like heaps, dominating the view for tens of kilometres and providing a great place for picnicking, hiking, and other activities. The fresh air, peaceful surroundings, and closeness to nature also entice many people to live on these landforms. Mountains also show Earth’s geological processes at work - specifically plate tectonics, or the slow movement of plates composing the lithosphere.
Many of the Earth’s mountains are part of a category called a ‘fold’ mountain. As two particular plates push against each other, such as in the case with convergent plate boundaries, they can force rocky material on the surface upward into a bunch of folds. Some of the planet’s most famous mountain ranges are made of fold mountains, from the tall peaks of the Himalayas to the snowy Alps of Central Europe. Not all of these mountains are folded the same, though. Their slopes might face the same direction (monocline), or its rock layers can be stacked in a zig-zagging pattern (chevron). You can review your knowledge of plate tectonics and the geological processes that form the Earth’s mountains with the help of our diagram of a fold mountain.