Hills and mountains are landforms that rise above the surrounding terrain. Despite the fact that these two structures have certain similarities and differences, there are no fixed criteria to distinguish them. “Mountain” and “hill” are reasonably frequent terms in English-speaking regions around the world. The two words are often used interchangeably in ordinary discourse to refer to two quite different geographic formations with no clear explanation. Mountains and hills, despite their apparent contrasts, have certain commonalities. Both, for example, are geographical landforms that rise above the surrounding area and protrude from the ground. For some, the question of whether these two structures are the same or different is a topic of debate. The contrasts between a mountain and a hill are discussed in this article.
Definition of Mountain and Hill
Oxford dictionary defines –
- A mountain is – “A large natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill.”
- A hill is – “A naturally raised area of land, not as high or craggy as a mountain., a flock of ruffs”
Wiktionary defines –
- A mountain as – “A large mass of earth and rock, rising above the common level of the earth or adjacent land, usually given by geographers as above 1,000 feet in height (or 304.8 meters), though such masses may still be described as hills in comparison with larger mountains.”
- A hill as – “An elevated location smaller than a mountain.”
Characteristics of Mountain and Hill
- In general, hills are round.
- Mountains are known for their steepness.
This does not imply that mountains must be steep or that hills must be spherical. Some of the older mountains are rounded and smaller. A hill is regarded to be smaller than a mountain. According to this theory, a mountain has a diverse ecology, plant species, and wildlife. A hill, on the other hand, usually has the same topography and the plantation varies only little.
Mountain and Hill- Elevation
There is no precise measurement that distinguishes a mountain from a hill. However, the most common criteria used to distinguish between these two is height. Mountains and hills, as previously said, are high landforms in comparison to their surroundings.
The UN Environmental Program identifies an environment as mountainous if it:
- Elevates at least at 8,200 feet
- Elevates at least at 4,900 feet (slope > 2 degrees)
- Elevates at least at 3,300 feet (slope > 5 degrees)
- Elevates at least at 980 feet (with elevation range within 4.3 miles)
A hill, on the other hand, is usually less than 2,000 feet tall.
Mountain and Hill- Formation
A mountain has a steeper gradient than a hill. Mountains are generated by tectonic plate movement or volcanism. Mountains are normally found in large mountain ranges; however, some are found alone. Hills, on the other hand, are formed by the accumulation of rock debris. Other natural phenomena, such as glaciers and winds, deposit sand to form hills. On a mountain, soil erosion also creates hills. Other variables that contribute to the creation of a hill include volcanoes.
Mountain and Hill- Climates and Ecology
Because mountains have cooler climates, they have more variety vegetation and fauna than hills. At various elevations, different plants and animals can be spotted. Trees are unable to grow over a particular height, resulting in alpine plantations. With the increased elevation, wildlife becomes more solitary. Hills are covered in temperate forests, savanna, scrubland, or even deserts because they are at lower altitudes. Because there are more natural resources to utilize, the vegetation is riper than in the mountains, and the living conditions are more comfortable.
The Mountain and Hill- Economy
Mountains are seldom utilized for agriculture due to difficult living conditions. They have, however, been employed in the extraction of resources. Mountain climbing, for example, is a great recreational activity in the mountains.
The environment is more hospitable in the hills, allowing more creatures to scavenge food for survival. The resources available in the hills make human living conditions more hospitable. As a result, the economic opportunities in the hills are greater than those in the mountains.
At the End:
The difference between hills and mountains can easily be deduced: hills are easier to climb than mountains. They aren’t as steep or as high. A hill, like a mountain, usually has a perceptible peak, which is its highest point. The geography of the Earth is diverse. Mountains and hills, no matter how they are classified, are part of the topography. We can categorize them even if there are no standards to identify them by comparing their heights, climates, and ecosystems (maybe more).