Photograph by Jeff Finley on Unsplash, CC BY
That is an article from Curious Youngsters, a collection for youngsters. The Dialog is asking children to ship in questions they’d like an knowledgeable to reply. All questions are welcome – critical, bizarre or wacky! You may also just like the podcast Think about This, a co-production between ABC KIDS hear and The Dialog, based mostly on Curious Youngsters.
How do mountains get made? – Astrid, age 6, Marrickville
Howdy Astrid. Chances are you’ll not consider this however once I was about your age my instructor (Mr Rouve) defined to the category how mountains get made.
He took a sheet of paper and put it flat on the desk. Then, he put the ideas of his proper and left arms’ fingers on all sides of the flat sheet and slowly moved his arms towards one another. Attempt to do it and you will notice that the center a part of the paper will raise off the desk to type a pleasant fold.
My instructor defined that mountains type in the same manner, when flat layers of rocks are pushed towards one another they transfer upward forming tall mountains.
My instructor was actually excited by a discovery made by geologists at the moment, once I was a child. These geologists had discovered that the floor of the Earth was, like a large jigsaw puzzle, manufactured from items. These items, referred to as “tectonic plates”, transfer and stumble upon one another.
This bumping creates earthquakes, which slowly push the bottom floor upward to make mountains. It occurs so slowly that, in reality, you might be getting taller sooner than mountains do, besides mountains continue to grow and rising and rising for a lot of hundreds of thousands of years till they’re so heavy they will not develop taller, solely wider.
In truth, Australia and New Zealand are sitting on two completely different “tectonic plates” that transfer in the direction of one another on the pace of some centimetres per yr. The place they stumble upon one another, the bottom will get lifted to type the gorgeous New Zealand Alps, the highest of which stands near 4,000 metres. Are you able to think about about 4,000 folks as tall as you, standing straight up on one another shoulders? That’s how tall these mountains are.
Mountains additionally type when the Earth’s crust is pushed upward from beneath. On the identical time the New Zealand Alps began to type, a big scorching bubble of rocks elevating from deep within the Earth, like a large air balloon, was pushing upward the floor of the jap a part of Africa forming a 4,000 metre excessive plateau. This plateau cut up to type what is called the East African Rift, a valley twice so long as the New Zealands Alps.
There are numerous mountains on the floor of the Earth. Some we will see, some we will’t as a result of they’re underneath the ocean. In the event you may take a submarine and dive underneath the ocean, as an illustration within the ocean in between Australia and Antarctica, you can go to an extended mountain the place the Australian and Antarctica tectonic plates transfer away from one another.
Thanks once more to your unbelievable query.
Curious Youngsters: What existed earlier than the Huge Bang? Did one thing need to be there to go increase?
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Patrice Rey receives funding from the Australian Analysis Council.