, a massif
is a section of a planet's crust
that is demarcated by faults
. In the movement of the crust
, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term is also used to refer to a group of mountains
formed by such a structure. The massif is a smaller structural unit of the crust than a tectonic plate
The word is taken from French (in which the word also means "massive"), where it is used to refer to a large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range. One of the most notable European examples of a massif is the Massif Central of the Auvergne region of France.
In computing, massif is a plugin for the Valgrind memory analyzer.
In mountaineering and climbing literature, a massif is frequently used to denote the main mass of an individual mountain.
The Face on Mars is also called a massif, or alternatively, an albedo feature.
List of massifs