Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker

Mountain Environments

  • Alexandre BevingtonEmail author
  • Marc-André Brideau
  • Marten Geertsema
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_209


Large landforms or groups of landforms that are elevated in relation to surrounding areas and which are characterized by processes and ecosystems that reflect corresponding altitudes.


A mountain is a landform defined by both relative and absolute characteristics. Elevation and morphology are often used to define mountains; however, it is their relative prominence over adjacent landforms and landscapes that truly set them apart. The high degree of spatial heterogeneity in topoclimatic variables makes mountains different from other terrestrial environments. Mountains commonly have a tectonic or volcanic origin though erosional mountains also exist. The associated environments show a combination of biotic and abiotic populations and processes for regions of similar characteristics.

Mountain environments exist at the interface between uplift and erosional processes. In geological terms, most represent relatively young and dynamic landscapes. They account for roughly...
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Copyright information

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Bevington
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marc-André Brideau
    • 3
  • Marten Geertsema
    • 2
  1. 1.Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute and Geography Program, University of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural DevelopmentPrince GeorgeCanada
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada