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Orogeny & epeirogeny

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Volcanoes, Moving Land and Mountain Formation Last Updated on 2010-12-19 00:00:00 Processes intrinsic to Earth and its atmosphere also alter climate. They include orogeny (the process of mountain formation), epeirogeny (the formation and distribution of land masses), volcanism, albedo (reflectance of solar energy), and atmospheric composition. Often these factors operate in conjunction with one another. For example, volcanic activity may affect both Earth’s albedo and its atmospheric composition. Orogeny Orogeny (Greek, mountain building) is the process in which tectonic movements of Earth’s crust or volcanic activities form mountains. Mountains, especially those with a north–south orientation (e.g., the Sierra Nevada, Rocky, Appalachian, Andes, and Ural mountains), disrupt global atmospheric circulation patterns that generally move east– west because of Earth’s rotation. Uplifting of mountains also newly exposes rock that... More »