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What Is the Minimum Height of a Mountain?

When it comes to determining the minimum height of a mountain as a means of differentiating a mountain from a hill, there is no universally accepted standard. Methods vary, depending not only on the height required, but also on how to go about measuring the land mass to determine whether it meets the basic criteria for designation as a mountain. This can include considering factors such as the slope of the land mass and its elevation from sea level.

More facts about mountains:

  • In the United Kingdom, a land mass must have an identifiable summit and be more than 984 feet (300 m) in height for it to be considered a mountain. Depending on the condition of the local topography, the overall height required to be considered a mountain might be as much as 1,969 feet (600 m).

  • A standard once used by the United States Geological Society required that a mountain have a local relief of 1,000 feet (3280 m), with local relief defined as the variation in elevation over a certain expanse of the land mass. This could be interpreted to mean the variance between the base of a range and the top of the land mass in question.

  • Movements in the crust of the Earth form mountains. Five types of mountains have been identified: dome, volcanic, plateau, fold and fault-block.

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More Info: www.usgs.gov

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