How are mountains made?
  • There are three main types of mountains; Fold Mountains like The Southern Alps, Volcanic Mountains like Mt Ruapehu and Block Mountains.
  • The Earth’s crust is made up of about 6 huge slabs called Tectonic Plates that are constantly moving.
  • Sometimes the plates push into each other causing ripples in the Earth’s crust.
  • Sometimes a plate slides under another plate causing the top one to rise.
  • Sometimes two plates split or push past each other.
  Did You Know?
  • Earthquakes occur when two plates pushing past each other cause a fracture in the Earth’s crust.
  • Scientists believe that at one time all the countries of the world were joined together but the movement of the plates has separated vast chunks of land into the different countries.
  • Two Tectonic Plates meet along the Southern Alps. This is called a fault line. The Southern Alps are constantly changing because the Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate are constantly moving. The movement is causing the earth along the fault line up and outwards, away from the fault line.
Build your own mountains.
Use play dough, like I did, to show your family and friends how mountains can be formed. Place several layers of dough on top of each other like the layers in the earth’s crust. Push the sides in to the middle to form a fold mountain. Cut the dough into segments and raise the outer sides to make Block Mountains.
Have a look at the mountains around your town or city. What kind of mountains are they? How high is the highest mountain in New Zealand and where is it?
What do you call a mountain with a steep rock face?
Cliff (Hi Cliff, how are you?)

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