Geology, Palaeontology & Archaeology / Re: Are there mountains/mountain ranges that existed, but no longer do?« on: 11/06/2021 20:53:31 »
Following on from the OP's question, if there were mountains, in past ages, which exceeded the height of our present-day highest mountain, Everest - could geologists find enough evidence to find them, and deduce their height?
That sounds tricky, but it might just be possible. If they can deduce the average rate of mountain growth due to plate tectonics in a given area at a given period of history and compare that with predicted erosion rates over the same time period, they could potentially model what the maximum allowed height for a mountain could have been. There are also limits placed upon a mountain by the laws of physics. If it's too tall, the pressure at the bottom of the mountain will overcome the compressive strength of the rock. Alternatively, it can also cause the crust in the area to become depressed, lowering the height of the mountain above sea level.
Given that the Earth's interior cools over time, the internal temperature (and thus plate tectonics and subsequently average mountain growth rates) should have been higher in the past.
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