Mountain ranges are usually segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not necessarily have the same geologic structure or petrology. They may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, and volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types.

"I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be."
— Ken Venturi

A mountain range is a geographic area containing numerous geologically related mountains. A mountain system or system of mountain ranges, sometimes is used to combine several geological features that are geographically (regionally) related.

Rocky Mountains

On Earth, most significant mountain ranges are the result of plate tectonics, though mountain ranges are formed by a range of processes, are found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are likely a feature of most terrestrial planets.

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The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, that is, many mountain ranges have sub-ranges within them. It can be thought of as a parent-child relationship.For example, the Appalachian Mountains range is the parent of other ranges it comprises, some of which are the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The White Mountains are a child of the Appalachians, and there are also children of the Whites, including the Sandwich Range and the Presidential Range. Further, the Presidential Range can be broken up into the Northern Presidential Range and Southern Presidential Range.

Geology

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The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States of American. Economic resources of the Rocky Mountains are varied.

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Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada which all lie further to the west. They were initially formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began to slide underneath the North American plate.

Ecology and Climate

The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a broad belt of mountains running down western North America. Since then, further tectonic activity and erosion by glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys. At the end of the last ice age, humans started to inhabit the mountain range.

The rocks in the Rocky Mountains were formed before the mountains were raised by tectonic forces. The oldest rock is Precambrian metamorphic rock that forms the core of the North American continent. There is also Precambrian sedimentary argillite, dating back to 1.7 billion years ago. During the Paleozoic, western North America lay underneath a shallow sea, which deposited many kilometers of limestone.

The Rockies range in latitude between the Liard River in British Columbia (at 59° N) and the Rio Grande in New Mexico (at 35° N). Prairie occurs at or below 1,800 feet (550 m), while the highest peak in the range is Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet (4,400 m). Precipitation ranges from 10 inches (250 mm) per year in the southern valleys to 60 inches (1,500 mm) per year locally in the northern peaks Average January temperatures can range from 20 °F (−7 °C) in Prince George, British Columbia, to 43 °F (6 °C) in Trinidad, Colorado.

History

The USGS defines ten forested zones in the Rocky Mountains. Zones in more southern, warmer, or drier areas are defined by the presence of pinyon pines/junipers, ponderosa pines, or oaks mixed with pines. In more northern, colder, or wetter areas, zones are defined by Douglas-firs, Cascadian species (such as western hemlock), lodgepole pines/quaking aspens, or firs mixed with spruce.

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Near treeline, zones can consist of white pines (such as whitebark pine or bristlecone pine); or a mixture of white pine, fir, and spruce that appear as shrub-like krummholz. Finally, rivers and canyons can create a unique forest zone in more arid parts of the mountain range.

I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.— Ken Venturi Quisque fringilla justo tristique mi fermentum accumsan. Integer feugiat, sem sit amet sodales cursus, enim lectus tempus tellus, nec facilisis tortor enim vel nunc. Donec facilisis arcu ac suscipit sagittis. Aliquam sollicitudin tortor et viverra commodo. Donec venenatis dignissim lacus quis dictum. Aliquam iaculis quam nec tortor volutpat, nec tempus diam efficitur. Phasellus vel orci placerat, ultricies nunc eu, tempus felis. Ut sit amet convallis velit. Mauris placerat neque at velit vehicula, iaculis semper purus blandit. Vestibulum vel tempus felis. Integer posuere orci vel commodo dictum. Vestibulum sit amet neque vitae dui tempor placerat non et nunc. Duis efficitur est a venenatis facilisis. Vestibulum in leo sem.

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