Mountain Worlds

by Don Burrows

Suiattle River Valley, Glacier Peak Wilderness - Don Burrows

To us mountains are large stationary objects that seem to be unchanging and unaffected by time and the elements. They are often used to symbolize the massive stationary and unchanging aspects of nature. Indeed they are giant obstructions that affect the entire atmospheric circulation including the distribution of precipitation and climatic variations. They restrict human transportation and commerce and may divide nations.

In a longer term view the mountains of the world are but temporary structures that are erected by the collisions of great plates of more or less solid rock floating around on the earth's surface. These mountains are thrust up and soon worn away through the processes of wind and water. Mountain ranges have come and gone many times over the history of the earth.

Because our lives are so incredibly short we do not usually see the mountains as the dynamic entities that they are. Occasinally we get a glimpse, such as when Mt. St. Helens exploded. But for most mountains major changes do not seem to occur. However, if we look closely and ask the right questions these changes and their stories can begin to be heard. The goal of this site is to look more closely and ask some questions that will reveal more about some of the world's mountain realms, both in terms of their effects on the world we see and experience as well as the processes and forces that have brought them into being.

Contributions from others on these subjects are invited. Contact Mountain Worlds Webmaster

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