Massif

In geology, a massif ( /mæˈsf/ or /ˈmæsɪf/) is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term also refers to a group of mountains formed by such a structure.

In mountaineering and climbing literature, a massif is frequently used to denote the main mass of an individual mountain. The massif is a smaller structural unit of the crust than a tectonic plate and is considered the fourth largest driving force in geomorphology.[1]

The word is taken from French (in which the word also means "massive"), where it is used to refer to a large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range. One of the most notable European examples of a massif is the Massif Central of the Auvergne region of France.

The Face on Mars is an example of an extraterrestrial massif.[2]

Massifs may also form underwater, as with the Atlantis Massif.[3]

List of massifs

Africa

Antarctica

  • Borg Massif
  • Craddock Massif
  • Cumpston Massif
  • Vinson Massif
  • Otway Massif

Asia

Europe

Rila massif, Bulgaria
Panorama of Pirin Mountain massif, Bulgaria
  • Alpilles – France
  • Aravis Range – France
  • Ardennes Massif – France/Belgium/Luxembourg
  • Areskutan – Sweden
  • Arlberg – Austria
  • Armorican Massif – France
  • Bauges Massif – France
  • Beaufortain Massif – France
  • Ben Nevis massif – United Kingdom
  • Bohemian Massif – Czech Republic
  • Bornes Massif – France
  • Calanques Massif – France
  • Ceahlău Massif – Romania
  • Cerces Massif – France
  • Chablais Massif – France
  • Chartreuse Massif – France
  • Cornubian Massif – United Kingdom
  • Dévoluy Massif – France
  • Massif des Écrins – France
  • Gotthard Massif – Switzerland
  • Jungfrau Massif – Switzerland
  • Jura Mountains – France
  • Lauzière massif – France
  • L'Esterel Massif – France
  • Long Mynd – United Kingdom
  • Lubéron – France
  • Massif Central – France
  • Massiccio del Matese - Italy
  • Mangerton Mountain – Ireland
  • Mercantour – France
  • Montgris – Spain
  • Montserrat – Spain
  • Mont Blanc massif – Italy/France/Switzerland
  • Massiccio del Pollino - Italy
  • Rila - Rhodope Massif – Bulgaria/Greece
  • Sila Massif – Italy
  • Snowdon Massif – United Kingdom
  • Taillefer Massif – France
  • Troodos – Cyprus
  • Untersberg – Germany/Austria
  • Queyras Massif – France
  • Vanoise Massif – France
  • Vercors Plateau – France
  • Vitosha Massif – Bulgaria
  • Vosges Mountains – France

North America

Oceania

  • Big Ben – Heard Island
  • Ahipara GumfieldsNew Zealand

Caribbean

South America

Submerged

  • Atlantis Massif – part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the North Atlantic Ocean
  • Tamu Massif — the largest volcano on Earth
Panoramic view of Mont Blanc massif, an example of a massif and also the highest summit in the Alps.[4]

References

  1. Allen, 2008, Time scales of tectonic landscapes and their sediment routing systems, Geol. Soc. Lon. Sp. Pub., v. 296, p. 7–28.
  2. Britt, Robert Roy (2006-09-21). "Mars Face Makeover: Controversial Formation Observed from New Angles". Space.com. Retrieved 2009-05-04.
  3. Blackman, Donna (2002). "Geology of the Atlantis Massif (Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 30°N): Implications for the evolution of an ultramafic oceanic core complex". Marine Geophysical Researches. 23 (5): 443–469. Bibcode:2002MarGR..23..443B. doi:10.1023/b:mari.0000018232.14085.75. S2CID 96459991.
  4. "The Sydney Morning Herald, November 6, 2009". 2009-11-06.
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