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Githyanki
2014-Sep-17, 01:54 AM
Once, I read that the there are the remains of a mountain range in New York State that were the tallest ever; even taller than the Himalayas. These mountains were pre-Cambrian. Just wondering, in the geologic history, what were the tallest mountains on Earth and how tall were they?

John Mendenhall
2014-Sep-17, 01:25 PM
You probably need to limit this to non-volcanic and non-impact structures.

NEOWatcher
2014-Sep-17, 02:07 PM
Once, I read that the there are the remains of a mountain range in New York State that were the tallest ever;
Not much to add.... but I have heard that of the Great Smoky Mountains which are basically a part of a much larger range anyway.

I did do some looking since I was curious too. I found this discussion (http://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/174cxr/how_high_was_the_highest_mountain_ever_on_earth/) that talks about the height limit being around the height of Everest.

schlaugh
2014-Sep-17, 04:16 PM
You probably need to limit this to non-volcanic and non-impact structures.

And above water.


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geonuc
2014-Sep-17, 04:32 PM
I'll add that the uncertainty associated with estimating the height of even those mountains still in existence but eroded down - such as the Appalachians and the Adirondacks - is high. When you turn to estimating ranges that may have existed several orogenies/supercontinents ago, I'd imagine the errors would be huge. And going back far enough, there were almost certainly ancient mountain ranges whose very existence, much less height, is speculative. So, perhaps a better question is to ask how high was the highest known mountain range.

Githyanki
2014-Sep-24, 12:57 AM
If the science is speculative, then it may be unreliable; below water or impact structures are indeed mountains. But, yes, above water would be nice.

Githyanki
2014-Sep-24, 01:07 AM
Checked out neo's link; I have questions; in 1 billion years in the future, when all the water is evaporated and the crust is slightly thicker, will the mountains be taller due to a lack of glacier erosion and sinking?

Everest is tall because of the speed of the collision of India and Asia; it is out-pacing the effects of erosion. Now, was there a similar event in the past where a continent slammed into another continent with such speeds, it out-paced erosion?

John Mendenhall
2014-Sep-24, 05:48 AM
Checked out neo's link; I have questions; in 1 billion years in the future, when all the water is evaporated and the crust is slightly thicker, will the mountains be taller due to a lack of glacier erosion and sinking?

Everest is tall because of the speed of the collision of India and Asia; it is out-pacing the effects of erosion. Now, was there a similar event in the past where a continent slammed into another continent with such speeds, it out-paced erosion?

Good point. How about Olympus Mons on Mars as an example? Olympus Mons is probably a hot spot volcano but it is big!

geonuc
2014-Sep-24, 09:20 AM
Now, was there a similar event in the past where a continent slammed into another continent with such speeds, it out-paced erosion?
Undoubtedly. The Appalachians, for one.

Githyanki
2014-Sep-25, 10:12 PM
If plate tectonics stop here on Earth, we could get a few hotspot volcanoes like Mons, but, by that time, the red-giant sun would melt the surface.

BigDon
2014-Sep-26, 12:15 AM
I thought those Aussie geologists that used to post here frequently mentioned both the Appalachians and that range in the west of Australia who's name escapes me were once larger that any present day range is now.