Mountain formation refers to the geological processes that underlie the formation of mountains. These processes are associated with large-scale movements of the Earth's crust (tectonic plates). Folding, faulting, volcanic activity, igneous intrusion and metamorphism can all be parts of the orogenic process of mountain building. The formation of mountains is not necessarily related to the geological structures found on it.
The understanding of specific landscape features in terms of the underlying tectonic processes is called tectonic geomorphology, and the study of geologically young or ongoing processes is called neotectonics.[clarification needed]
The major mountain-building idea that was supported from the 19th century and into the 20th is the geosynclinal theory.
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