The Restless Earth- Fold Mountains + Case Study

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Fold Mountain Formation

Fold Mountains Are Formed When Plates COllide At Destructive Margins

1. When tectonic plates collide the sedimentary rocks that have built up between them are folded and forced upwards to form mountains.

2. So fold mountains are found at destructive plate margins and places where there used to be destructive margins. E.g. The west coas of North America.

3. You get fold mountains where a continental plate and an oceanic plate collide. (E.g. the Andes in South America were formed this way.)

4. You also get fold mountains where two continental plates collide. (E.g. the Himilayas in Asia were formed this way.)

5. Fold mountain areas have lots of very high mountains, which are very rocky with steep slopes. There's often snow and glaciers in the highest bits, and lakes in the valleys between the mountains.

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Human Uses For Fold Mountains

Humans Use Fold Mountain Areas For Lots Of Things

Farming: Higher mountain slopes aren't great for growing crops so they're used to graze animals, e.g. mountain goats. Lower slopes are used to grow crops. Steep slopes are sometimes terraced to make growing crops easier.

Hydro-Electric Power (HEP): Steep sided mountains and high lakes (to store water) make fold mountains ideal for generating hydro-electric power.

Mining: Fold mountains are a major source of metal ores, so there's a lot of mining going on. The steep slopes make access to the mines difficult, so zig-zag roads have been carved out on the sides of some mountains to get to them.

Forestry: Fold mountain ranges are a good environment to grow some types of tree (e.g. conifers). They're grown on the steep valley slopes and are used for things like fuel, building materials and to make things liek paper and furniture.

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Human Uses For Fold Mountains

Humans Use Fold Mountain Areas For Lots Of Things

Tourism: Fold mountains have spectacular scenery, which attracts tourists. In winter, people visit to do sports like skiing, snowboarding and ice climbing. In summer, walkers come to enjoy the scenery. Tunnels have been drilled through some fold mountans to make straight, fast roads. This improves communications for tourists and people who live in the area as it's quicker to get to places.

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The Alps

The Alps Is A Fold Mountain Range

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

Formation: The Alps were formed about 30 million years ago by the collision between the African and European plates.

Tallest Peak: Mont Blanc at 4810m on the Italian-French border

Population: Around 12 million people.

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Uses For The Alps

People Use The Alps For Lots Of Things


1) The steep upland areas are used to farm goats, which provide milk, cheese and meat.

2) Some sunnier slopes have been terraced to plant vineyards (e.g. Lavaux, Switzerland).

Hydro-Electric Power (HEP):

1) The narrow valleys are dammed to generate HEP, e.g. in the Berne are in Switzerland. Switzerland gets 60% of its electricity from HEP stations in the ALPs.

2) The electricity produced is used locally to power homes and businesses. It's also exported to towns and cities further away.

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Uses For The Alps

People Use The Alps For Lots Of Things


1) 100 million tourists visit the Alps each year making tourism a huge part of the economy. 

2) 70% of tourists visit the steep, snow covered mountians in the winter for skiing, snowboarding and ice climbinh. In the summer tourists visit for walkung, mountain biking, paragliding and climbing.

3) New villages have been built to cater for the quality of tourists, e.g. Tignes in France.

4) Ski runs, ski lifts, cable cars, holiday chalets and restaurants pepper the landscape.

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Uses For The Alps

People Use The Alps For Lots Of Things


Salt, iron ore, gold, silver and copper were mined in the Alps, but the mining has declined dramatically due to cheaper foreign sources.


Scots Pine is planted all over the Alps because it's more resilient to the munching foats, which kill natice tree sapling. the trees are logged and sold to make thing like furniture.

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People Have Adapted To The Conditions In The Alps

1) Steep Relief: Goats are farmed tehre because they're well adapted to live on steep mountains. Trees and man-made defences are used to protect against avalanches and rock slides.

2) Poor Soils: Animals are grazed in most high areas as the soil isn't great for growing crops.

3) Limited Communications: Roads have been built over passes (lower points beween mountains), e.g. the Brenner Pass between Austria and Italy. It takes a long time to drive over passes and hey can be blocked by snow, so tunnels have been cut through the mountains to provide fast transport links. For example the Lotschberg Base Tunnel has been cut through the Bernese Alps in Switzerland.

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