Skip Navigation
You are viewing an older version of this Concept. Go to the latest version.

Weathering and Erosion

Weathering breaks down solid rock into smaller pieces and erodes and transports those pieces to another location, both of which modify landscapes.

Atoms Practice
Estimated3 minsto complete
Practice Weathering and Erosion
This indicates how strong in your memory this concept is
Estimated3 minsto complete
Practice Now
Turn In
Why Isn't Olympus Mons on Earth?

Why Isn't Olympus Mons on Earth?

Credit: NASA
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Olympus_Mons_alt.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Olympus Mons on Mars is a giant shield volcano. All of the Hawaiian Islands would fit across the diameter of the mountain. Their total mass would by tiny compared with this giant.

Why Doesn’t Earth Have Such a Big Mountain?

Olympus Mons on Mars is not quite the tallest mountain in the solar system; an ever-so-slightly taller mountain is on the asteroid Vesta. Still at 21.9 km (14 miles) high, Olympus Mons is 212 times as all as Mount Everest on Earth. It isn’t just chance that Mars has a much larger mountain than Earth. Three factors that limit the size a mountain on Earth can be.

Explore More

With the link below, learn more about the factors that limit the height of mountains on Earth. Then answer the following questions.

  1. How do the mechanical properties of the upper mantle (asthenosphere) limit the height of a mountain on Earth?
  2. What happens if the lithosphere sinks too far into the mantle?
  3. How do plate tectonics processes lower the height of mountains on Earth?
  4. Earth has a much thicker atmosphere than Mars. How does Earth’s atmosphere limit mountain height?

Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: NASA; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Olympus_Mons_alt.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Explore More

Sign in to explore more, including practice questions and solutions for Earth's Tectonic Plates.
Please wait...
Please wait...