What Are Examples of Fault-Block Mountains?

Some examples of fault-block mountains include the Sierra Nevada and the Grand Tetons in the United States and the Harz Mountains in Germany. Fault-block mountains are formed as a result of cracking or faulting along the planet’s surface, leading to several crustal blocks being heaved upwards while other chunks of rocks slide downwards.

Mountains are geographical landforms that originate from the natural deformation of the Earth’s crust, which is brought on by the gradual movement of continental plates through the process of orogenesis. The major forces that drive orogenesis are faulting, structural deformation, folding, metamorphism, igneous processes, erosion, glaciation and sedimentation.

Mountains are primarily classified into five main categories, including fault-block mountains, fold mountains, dome mountains, volcanic mountains and plateau mountains. Fault-block mountains, also referred to as block mountains, are created when an irreversible strain occurs within or between crustal plates, which eventually causes faulting or fracturing of the Earth’s surface. The fractured section pulls apart and fragments into large pieces of rock. These crustal blocks either move up or move down. The rocks that slide down are called “grabens.” The blocks that are uplifted and end up being piled one on top of the others are called “horsts,” which serve as the foundation for fault-block mountains. Other mountains located in the Basin and Range province in the U.S. are further examples of fault-block mountains.