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In geology, a massif 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 is also used to refer 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.

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.[1]

Contents

List of massifs

Africa

Antarctica

Asia

Europe

North America

Oceania

South America

Submerged

References


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MASSIF, a French term, adopted in geology and physical geography for a mountainous mass or group of connected heights, whether isolated or forming part of a larger mountain system. A "massif" is more or less clearly marked off by valleys.


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