The Restless Earth - Fold Mountains

Creation of Fold Mountains

1. Two tectonic plates are forced together and collide

2. Sedimentary rock that has built up between the two folds

3. The rock is forced upwards to form a fold mountain

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Fold mountains are usually found at destructive plate margins or places where there used to be destructive plate margins (e.g. the west coast of North America). Fold mountains are formed where a continental plate and an oceanic plate collide (e.g. the Andes in South America were formed this way). Fold mountains are also formed where two continental plates collide (e.g. the Himalayas in Asia were formed this way).

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Human Uses of Fold Mountains

Farming: Animals are grazed on high slopes, crops are grown on lower slopes.

Hydro-Electric Power (HEP): High lakes and steep sided mountains make fold mountains ideal for HEP.

Mining: Many metal ores are found in fold mountains. Steep slopes can make access to mines difficult.

Tourism: Fold mountains have beautiful scenery which attracts tourists. In winter, people enjoy sports such as snowboarding and skiing. In summer, walkers enjoy the scenery.

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Case Study: The Alps

Location: Central Europe - stretches across Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Formation: Formed about 30 million years ago by the collision between the African and European plates.

Tallest Peak: Mont Blanc (4810m)

Population: Around 12 million people

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Case Study: The Alps Cont.

Uses of the Alps:

Farming: Steep upland areas used to farm goats to provide milk, cheese and meat. Sunnier slopes used to plant vineyards.

HEP: Narrow valleys are dammed to generate HEP. Switzerland gets 60% of its electricity from HEP stations in the Alps. Electricity produced is mostly used locally to power homes and businesses.

Tourism: 100 million tourists visit the Alps each year. 70% of tourists visit snow-covered mountains in winter for winter sports. New villages have been built to cater for all the tourists e.g. Tignes in France. Ski runs, ski lifts, cable cars, holiday chalets and restaurants cover the landscape.

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