Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Geology, Palaeontology & Archaeology => Topic started by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 17:36:48

Title: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 17:36:48
Mountains and hills. What is the difference between a mountain and a hill apart from their size. Mountains are most often found closer to coastal regions as the formation of the mountain range is due to the movement of oceanic plates sliding under the continent shelf. The action of tectonic movement is fracturing and tilting the upper layers of the land. So what about hills, Hills come in many different sizes some hills almost look like mountains but there not how can we tell the difference well it starts with how hills are formed they are formed by a process that is different to that of mountains hills, in general, are a result of mountains and moor the process of mountains forming will be transferred into the land and make undulations across the plains the surface of the hills are not so broken but more flowing in nature. Hills are most often rounded smaller and show fewer signs of tilted rock mountains on the other hand show sharper edges and layers of uplifted and tilted rock. Hill maintains their structure by means of vegetation as they are more accessible to animals and seed the undergrowth and foliage grass and grazing maintain the hill integrity and prevents rapid erosion. What do you have to say about this bumpy world we live in.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Bored chemist on 24/07/2021 18:03:06
What is the difference between a mountain and a hill apart from their size.
Nothing whence:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Englishman_who_Went_up_a_Hill_but_Came_down_a_Mountain
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 18:16:58
Nothing whence:
The mountain may be as fictional as the village itself though the altitude of the top may be a consideration to the definition.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: alancalverd on 24/07/2021 20:08:06
A mountain must extend more than 3000 ft above sea level.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Bored chemist on 24/07/2021 20:11:00
the altitude of the top may be a consideration to the definition.
There's no "may be" about it.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 20:28:15
There's no "may be" about it.
I live at an altitude of 3600 feet and there are many hills around me and some small mountains.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 20:32:46
A mountain must extend more than 3000 ft above sea level.
I live at an altitude of 3600 feet and there are hills up here too.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 20:37:14
In Alaska I saw much taller 'mountains', but most of them looked like unstable slag heaps, all having straight sides at the same critical angle. They looked like just heaps of loose stuff, but many of them claimed some serious altitude.
Maybe they have established their angle or maybe you are viewing them from the front rather than the side.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Origin on 24/07/2021 20:52:24
A mountain must extend more than 3000 ft above sea level.
As I recall a mountain is a hill that is at least 3000 ft above the surrounding terrain.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Petrochemicals on 24/07/2021 21:12:17
Further more what is the difference between a plateau, a hill and a mountain. At some point you go from being able to walk, to having to step to having to climb. Everest may be the highest mountain but Denali is the tallest fron the surrounding plateau.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 21:20:21
Further more what is the difference between a plateau, a hill and a mountain. At some point you go from being able to walk, to having to step to having to climb. Everest may be the highest mountain but Denali is the tallest from the surrounding plateau.
Excellent point it is easy to become confused as to what we see one might be at the bottom of the grand canyon and look up and see a mountain but we know it is a wall created by erosion. The backside of a mountain may be shallow but that would be a plateau. So as you point out things may not be as they seem.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: alancalverd on 24/07/2021 23:07:01
The answer is in the name - plateaus are flat. If you have a plateau at 3000 ft amsl and put a hill on it, then viewed from sea level the hill is a mountain. But if you cut steps up a 3001 foot mountain, the last step is only a foot, so how can it be a mountain? The only unequivocal definition is altitude above sea level.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 24/07/2021 23:35:46
The answer is in the name - plateaus are flat. If you have a plateau at 3000 ft amsl and put a hill on it, then viewed from sea level the hill is a mountain. But if you cut steps up a 3001 foot mountain, the last step is only a foot, so how can it be a mountain? The only unequivocal definition is height above sea level.
High lands have hills if you were 10,000 feet above sea level and there was a big mound in front of you standing 300 feet tall wald you say I'm going up that hill or up that mountain. I can see your point mount Everest has a very tall peak but most of its altitude is allredy above sea level at the base of the peak.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: alancalverd on 25/07/2021 11:10:42
You have grasped the difference between height (above local terrain, called "QFE") and altitude (above sea level, called "QNH"). That will get you past the first question in the air navigation exam, and possibly save your life should you ever have to command an aircraft.

Being a pedant, I've corrected my previous post!
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Petrochemicals on 26/07/2021 00:39:57
The answer is in the name - plateaus are flat.
Very witty.
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: vhfpmr on 26/07/2021 11:32:35
There is no universally accepted quantitative definition of mountain and hill.
The OED definitions are as follows:

Mountain: "A large natural elevation of the earth's surface, esp. one high and steep in form (larger and higher than a hill) and with a summit of relatively small area."

Hill: "A natural elevation of the earth's surface rising more or less steeply above the level of the surrounding land. Formerly the general term, including what are now called mountains; after the introduction of the latter word, gradually restricted to heights of less elevation; but the discrimination is largely a matter of local usage, and of the more or less mountainous character of the district, heights which in one locality are called mountains being in another reckoned merely as hills. A more rounded and less rugged outline is also usually connoted by the name. In Great Britain heights under 2,000 feet are generally called hills; ‘mountain’ being confined to the greater elevations of the Lake District, of North Wales, and of the Scottish Highlands; but, in India, ranges of 5,000 and even 10,000 feet are commonly called ‘hills’, in contrast with the Himalaya Mountains, many peaks of which rise beyond 20,000 feet. The plural hills is often applied to a region of hills or highland; esp. to the highlands of northern and interior India."

Anyone who wants to start counting them quickly realises you need to define the minimum depression and horizontal separation between adjacent summits in addition to the height above sea level, otherwise you would end up counting every pebble and stone on the summit as a separate hill. There are numerous lists in the UK, Munros, Nuttalls, HEWETTs, FRCCs, Marilyns, etc, each of which have their own definitions, and then there's the Wainwrights, which are completely subjective. (In the case of the Marilyns, there is no minimum height, just a minimum depression of 150m.)
Title: Re: What is the difference between a mountain and a hill?
Post by: Just thinking on 16/08/2021 12:53:34
I think the point has been missed as mountain formation is due to continental plate tectonics and have very deep roots. Hills are like surface waves and erosion formations. Mountains are not formed by erosion but hills largely are.