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Earth has many different landscapes and landforms. Ready to explore them all? Check out this video.

A landscape is part of the Earth's surface that can be viewed at one time from one place. It consists of the geographic features that mark or are characteristic of, a particular area.

Glacier

A glacier is a large mass of ice often shaped like a river that flows very slowly, under the force of gravity. Glaciers develop over many years in places where snow has fallen but not melted. Snow is compacted and turns to ice. The weight of the ice means that it starts to slip down mountainsides over time.

Valley

The low area of the Earth’s surface between features of elevation (mountains and hills).

Canyon 

Similar to a valley, a canyon is a narrow, deep valley cut by a river. They have very steep sides and some are thousands of feet deep. Smaller valleys of similar appearance are called gorges.



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How are mountains formed?

Check out this video. Mountains are landforms that rise high above the surrounding land. Mountains are most often formed by movement of the tectonic plates in the Earth's crust.

There are three main types of mountains: fold mountains, fault-block mountains, and volcanic mountains. They get their names from how they were formed.

Fold mountains:

Fold mountains are formed when two plates move into each other. The force of the two plates moving into each other causes the Earth's crust to crumple and fold. Many of the world's great mountain ranges are fold mountains including the Andes, Himalayas, and the Rockies.

Fault-block mountains:

Fault-block mountains are formed along faults where some large blocks of rock are forced upwards while others are forced down. The higher area is sometimes called a "horst" and the lower a "graben”.

Volcanic mountains:

Mountains can also, be created by volcanic activity. Volcanoes are formed when magma erupts all the way to the surface of the Earth. The magma will harden on the Earth's surface, forming a mountain. Dome mountains are formed when a large amount of magma builds up below the Earth's surface. This forces the rock above the magma to bulge out, forming a mountain. Examples of volcanic mountains include Mount Fuji in Japan.

You can also access a visual lesson here.

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