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Mountain ranges

The Canadian Rockies are subdivided into numerous mountain ranges, structured in two main groupings, the Continental Ranges, which has three main subdivisions, the Front Range, Park Ranges and Kootenay Ranges, and the Northern Rockies which comprise two main groupings, the Hart Ranges and the Muskwa Ranges. The division-point of the two main groupings is at Monkman Pass northwest of Mount Robson and to the southwest of Mount Ovington. A mountain range or mountain belt 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. 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. Considering underwater topography, the Ocean Ridges of the world form the longest mountain systems on Earth. Above sea level major mountain systems are chiefly arranged in two regions; the Pacific Ring of Fire and the Alpide Belt. The first includes the mountains of the western coast of the Americas, Kamatchaka, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, as well as parts of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The Alpide Belt runs from Indonesia to the Alps including the Himalayas and other European and Asian ranges. Above sea level the Andes is usually considered the world's longest mountain system; it is 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) in length. The Himalaya Range contains the highest mountains on the Earth's surface, the highest of which is Mount Everest. The world's longest mountain system is known as Ocean Ridge, which is a chain of mountains that runs on the seafloor of five oceans around the world; it has a length of 65,000 kilometres (40,400 mi), and the total length of the system is 80,000 kilometres (49,700 mi). The Andes is the world's longest mountain system on the surface of a continent; it is 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) in length. To clarify, the Andes is the world's largest chain of mountains above sea level. The Arctic Cordillera is the world's northernmost mountain system and contains the highest point in eastern North America. [edit]Divisions and categories 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. [edit]Climate The position of mountains influences climate, such as rain or snow. When air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation (rain or snow). As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again (in accordance with the adiabatic lapse rate) and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture. Often, a rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range.

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