Mountain Building

There is no real alternative to asking god how he did it.
But I can't help believing it is asking a lot.

I can't believe nobody has asked him until now. …

Dear God.

How did you build / are you building the mountains?

Can you please tell us as we would like to know.

Yours sincerely -on behalf of earthlings everywhere.


There. That should do it.

In the meantime; here is what's online:

Some of the major mountain belts on the Earth are the North American Cordillera (A), Appalachians (B), Caledonian Belt (C), Andes (D), Urals (E), Himalaya (F), Alps (G), and the Tasman Belt (H). (Source of Modified Image: NOAA, National Geophysical Data Center).

It's a badly laid out site according to the net watch-dogs. Nothing horrid on it just poor web design:

I opened it in Firefox but will have to read it in Opera as it can increase and lower the magnification so much better. Though the Ctrl & – does the trick.


13 thoughts on “Mountain Building

  1. Yuch!I couldn't be bothered with it:Originally posted by FoolsRus:

    Evolution of MountainsGeologists have developed a general model to explain how most mountain ranges form. This model suggests that mountain building involves three stages: Accumulation of sediments.An orogenic period of rock deformation and crustal uplift, andA period of crustal uplift caused by isostatic rebound and block-faulting. The later two stages of this model involve tectonic convergence of crustal plates which provides the compressional and tensional stresses that produce rock deformation, uplift, and faulting.

    Is there no alternative to this chumpery?

  2. Even more interesting is the term "negative temperature expansion"Most matter expands with rising temperature or contracts on cooling. Some like iron and water don't. The same is true for other crystals. But:

    A negative temperature coefficient (NTC) occurs when a physical property (such as thermal conductivity or electrical conductivity) of a material rises with increasing temperature, typically in a defined temperature range. For most materials, conductivity will decrease with increasing temperature.

    There appears to be an intimate link with conductivity.When you consider the piezoelectric possibilities of huge underground mounds of silica, you have to think that the more you know about this stuff the more self-explanatory this is all going to get.All the more so as you consider the well known piezoelectric possibilities of air, or more exactly water in the air.How piquant that we are in the middle of two pretty nearly perfect thunder-spells at the moment.

  3. How about that:Originally posted by Wikipedia:

    Molten silica exhibits several peculiar physical characteristics that are similar to the ones observed in liquid water: negative temperature expansion, density maximum (at temperatures ~5000 °C), and a heat capacity minimum.[11] Its density decreases from 2.08 g/cm3 at 1950 °C to 2.03 g/cm3 at 2200 °C.

    It's amazing what you can see if you look.

  4. Originally posted by tdjmd1:

    You are really curious but you are not the only one.

    The deeper you go, the deeper it gets:Originally posted by Wikipedia:

    To heat 1 litre of water from 10°C to 30°C requires 83.6 kJ.To melt ice and raise the resulting water temperature by 20°C requires extra energy. To heat ice from 0°C to 20°C requires: 333.55 kJ for 1 kg of ice to meltPlus: 83.6 kJ for 1kg of water to go up 20°C =417.15 kJ

    I'd always known it was a tremendous heat problem to boil water. It takes as much -or more, heat to boil water already at boiling "point" as it does to raise it from room temperature to boiling point.But the heat required to melt ice is amazing.The question is now will he give me the smarts to understand the deeper things of his?Something else hidden from us in all this is that we are examining the behaviour of substances at the surface of the earth and generally in units that can be contained.When you go down to the depths of hell the temperatures are not constrained by handling difficulties and the pressures are such that solids and liquids are undistinguishable and even the differences between solids and gases becomes difficult to imagine.They are called phase states and can only be guessed at in computer models.Here is more:All the matter we know about with the exception of helium require heat loss to freeze. Adding heat to helium at its freezing point will cause it to freeze.But since the atoms of helium don't form molecules, there is no crystallisation. So how do you know you have a solid when the liquid pours like a gas and beads of it behave like a liquid?

  5. Originally posted by WL:

    I can't believe nobody has asked him until now.

    You are really curious but you are not the only one. No. I assure you.

  6. How do you tell people nicely that they are self deluded?It hurts to be wrong. And it hurts to hurt people.Where do you draw the line?

  7. 417.15 / 83.6 = 4.98983254That's 5 times more.Take the rise in temperature away and you get 4 times as much energy is required to melt the ice as is needed to raise water 10 degrees.Now think about the heat requirement to melt the ice in an ice age.It is more than the heat supplied by the sun could do.And that is before you consider albedo.How can people be so stupid?And how can you tell them gently that they want their backsides kicked so damned hard they'd get toothache before they learned anything?***So where do the glaciers go?To start with they don't melt in situ.Snow falling accounts for glacier melting as an heat balance between summers and winters generally.But glaciers are just frozen river sources. When they melt they run to sea. And for problem budgets like the melting Arctic ice-cap, the heat is not lost into the atmosphere.If it were, it would explain global warming on its own.No. The heat lost or gained in the melting icecaps is to be found in the Arctic Oceans.When ice melts if it reaches 4°C, it is heavier than salt water and thus drops to where the salt water is even colder or warmer or whatever.This process is called the Thermo/haline column.In the tropics surface water in the ocean becomes more salt as the heat evaporates the very top layer. This causes the water to fall to cooler depths where it meets whatever densities.Sometimes when there is no layer to stop it falling or mixing the water falls long and fast. Submariners call these places "chimneys".It is unusual to find them (I imagine) at sea. But in a landlocked situation like the Mediterranean, the currents at Gibraltar are well known.The salt outflow and the less salty inflow to and from the Atlantic runs to quite a powerful current. Currents can reach 5 knots at time but the average is much lower.Originally posted by Formontana:

    The Mediterranean Sea is very restricted in its circulation with other bodies of water due to the fact that it is virtually landlocked. The only outlets to ocean water are through the Suez Canal and the Strait of Gibraltar. The sea is also relatively shallow, with an average depth of approximately 1500 m. This in addition to the high rates of evaporation due to its location near the equator causes the Sea to be much saltier and more dense than the water in the Atlantic Ocean. The east setting Atlantic water interacting with the more dense, west setting Mediterranean water below can create waves with amplitudes hundreds of feet high in the mixing layer between the two. waves are not visible at the surface. In fact the tides only rise 2 feet or so in the Med.One reason, perhaps, for the argument between Keppler and Galileo about the lunar effect of tides?

  8. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    The later two stages of this model involve tectonic convergence of crustal plates which provides the compressional and tensional stresses that produce rock deformation, uplift, and faulting.

    You can imagine two irresistible forces coming together from opposite directions. Something like the irresistible force meets immovable object scenario.Think two huge express trains. Both moving at 100 mph and hitting each other on an empty, straight track.They don't just fold up they get thrown into the air.But that isn't how mountains form.To start with, they are supposed to be caused by continents driven into each other. But where is the source of the energy behind them?The trains are powered by electricity or diesel or coal or whatever. It's hard to imagine an incline steep enough for both to reach that speed without an external force.Rail tracks are not designed like that.The other thing is that as much of the range finds its way underground (subduction) as is raised in the mountain (obduction.)The trains go up or sideways, never down. I fact it takes very little sand to stop a train. The emergency lanes on highways on some long hills, intended to stop large diesel lorries that have over-revved and are suffering brake-failure, are really short.The vehicles don't dig axle deep into the soft standing before they are halted.To imagine that a floating, loose, unpropelled land mass would continue moving into another one at "geologic" speeds and go on to raise mountains miles high, over thousands of years, is absolutely childish flannel.The fact is that we know substantial portions of the Himalayas are raised in galleries. Steps.And that's just the bits we can see. To throw sand castles into the air is one thing but to make towering cliffs, with a backdrop that goes as far as half a small country, is quite another.But what do I know about anything?Well; I know when a fish I am being sold has passed its "sell by" date.

  9. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    The heat lost or gained in the melting icecaps is to be found in the Arctic Oceans.

    I meant the heat or lack thereof from the melted Arctic Sea Ice is obtained from and or lost to the Arctic Ocean.I don't know what weather conditions causes inland glaciers to fail. Nor if the exposure of new terrain is a bad thing.I would have thought it meant more grazing on upland farms. That can't be a bad thing for the most impecunious of shepherds. Can it.Or do we assume that glaciers are lost in times of drought?Because I don't recall droughts in the Alps.The worst weather I remember in the Alps is wet weather.

  10. I was looking up Chinook winds when I found this little gem:Originally posted by Wikipedia:

    It is said that chinook winds can cause a sharp increase in the number of migraine headaches suffered by the locals and are often called "chinook headaches".At least one study conducted by the department of clinical neurosciences at the University of Calgary supports that belief.It is also popularly believed they can increase irritability and sleeplessness.

    Meanwhile, some winds contribute to snow deposition -among them the Chinook, but they can also remove snow very quickly. Originally posted by Wikipedia:

    A foehn wind is a dry down-slope wind in the downwind side of a mountain range, a "rain shadow" wind from the adiabatic warming of air that has dropped most of its moisture on windward slopes. Because of the different adiabatic lapse rates between moist and dry air, leeward slopes becomes warmer than windward slopes. Föhns can raise temperatures by 30°C in hours. >>> Central Europe enjoys a warmer climate due to the Föhn, as moist winds off the Mediterranean Sea blow over the Alps. <<<

  11. The first problem with any alternative idea about mountain building is that of foundations.Something such as hydraulics could easily lift a mountain intact. But then it would fall again nearly as quickly as the water leaked away.Something would have to both generate a volume and keep it underneath the mountain. And we already know that the mountainous regions are lighter than surrounding areas.So what is under mountains is porous. Or at least, much less dense than sedimentary rocks. And that is exactly what igneous rocks are and wher they are found.Granite for example is a poor building stone because it lets in water. Not a lot. But enough to fracture in frosts if unpolished.Then I looked up porosity in rocks. That was a shock:

    Types of geologic porositiesPrimary porosityThe main or original porosity system in a rock or unconfined alluvial deposit.Secondary porosityA subsequent or separate porosity system in a rock, often enhancing overall porosity of a rock. This can be a result of chemical leeching of minerals or the generation of a fracture system. This can replace the primary porosity or coexist with it (see dual porosity below).Fracture porosityThis is porosity associated with a fracture system or faulting. This can create secondary porosity in rocks that otherwise would not be reservoirs for hydrocarbons due to their primary porosity being destroyed (for example due to depth of burial) or of a rock type not normally considered a reservoir (for example igneous intrusions or metasediments).Vuggy porosityThis is secondary porosity generated by dissolution of large features (such as macrofossils) in carbonate rocks leaving large holes, vugs, or even caves.Effective porosity (also called open porosity)Refers to the fraction of the total volume in which fluid flow is effectively taking place and includes Caternary and dead-end (as these pores cannot be flushed, but they can cause fluid movement by release of pressure like gas expansion[3]) pores and excludes closed pores (or non-connected cavities). This is very important for groundwater and petroleum flow, as well as for solute transport.Ineffective porosity (also called closed porosity)Refers to the fraction of the total volume in fluids or gases are present but in which fluid flow can not effectively take place and includes the closed pores. Understanding the morphology of the porosity is thus very important for groundwater and petroleum flow.Dual porosityRefers to the conceptual idea that there are two overlapping reservoirs which interact. In fractured rock aquifers, the rock mass and fractures are often simulated as being two overlapping but distinct bodies. Delayed yield, and leaky aquifer flow solutions are both mathematically similar solutions to that obtained for dual porosity; in all three cases water comes from two mathematically different reservoirs (whether or not they are physically different).Macro porosityRefers to pores greater than 50 nm in diameter. Flow through macropores is described by bulk diffusion.Meso porosityRefers to pores greater than 2 nm and less than 50 nm in diameter. Flow through mesopores is described by Knudsen diffusion.Micro porosityRefers to pores smaller than 2 nm in diameter. Movement in micropores is by activated diffusion.

    I used to live on a very muddy beach. Its ability to turn into quicksand on the tide was well known to every schoolboy in my town. There are many half pairs of wellies still stuck in that mud from generations of lads caught out.Even grown-ups can get into difficulties with emergency services sometimes powerless to save them.Yet it never occurred to me that clay wasn't impervious to water. You could repair a leak with clay. Provided the water wasn't directed at it but running along it.Forced directly at a bed of clay, water turns it into quick"sand".***But even so you are still left with the problem about what causes the motivation. The idea of the theory holds no more water than plate tectonics without that.OK, so the mountains are over beds of clay and quartz that have been turned to pumice. How did the water get heated and dissolve the sediment?Beats me.Limestone can fracture -and water if acid enough, will drain through it opening pipes we call caves. But the water has to have somewhere to drain to. And it must be constantly replenished with yet more acid water.If the water becomes lime rich, it will reseal the cave.How far down can water fall?Only half way through the planet after that is is rising.But there is no "half way" in Earth.There is no fixed centre.The centre is a travelling point depending on the positions of the sun and moon.The barycentre.This is the tides.And we know too little about tides to make guesses about any of that.

  12. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    Types of geologic porosities

    I haven't read that part of the article.I am too blown away by the complexities of what I have just found.And besides that, it is late. My day is escaping me.

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