If you are a person who loves the mountains, you are likely well aware of all the enjoyment that a mountain can bring.
Not only are there beautiful views, but there are plenty of outdoor activities that go hand in hand with mountains.
From skiing to hiking to sightseeing, mountains are some of the greatest natural assets that we have on our planet.
However, as much as people love mountains, there are quite a few things that you may not know about them.
One of these questions is how much a mountain weighs.
Mountains can vary considerably in size and shape, but we will give you a general idea as to what you can expect a mountain to weigh.
How Much Does A Mountain Weigh?
Most average mountains have weights that are in the billions of pounds.
The estimated weight of the largest mountain, Mount Everest, is more than 350 trillion pounds.
The difficult part about determining how much a mountain weighs is not just the height and the size, but it is also the material.
Mountains are made up of a variety of materials, and some are heavier than others.
In addition, many mountains have ice and snow and trees on them.
The snow and ice are very heavy and will impact the overall weight of the measurement.
If you are worried about our planet Earth being able to hold on to all of these heavy mountains, don’t be.
The approximate weight of planet earth is 1.317 × 10^25 lbs., so there is plenty of room for these mountains on the planet.
It is quite difficult to estimate the weight of a mountain, and that is because of the number of variables involved in this process.
Let’s take a look at what you should know about how a mountain’s weight can be calculated.
How To Estimate The Weight Of A Mountain
If you want to try to estimate the weight of a mountain near you, there are some steps that you will first need to take to simplify this process a bit.
Here are some of the ways you can try and estimate how much a mountain weighs.
Step 1: Assume A Cone Shape
Although mountains are not perfectly cone shaped, this is about as close as you will get to a geometric figure that will help with this calculation.
For most mountains, you can see the cone shape and understand why this would be a good fit.
You can always make small adjustments, and it’s a good idea to understand that this is just an estimate.
The exact measurement of the weight of a mountain would be very complicated to figure out.
Step 2: Formula For Volume Of A Cone
Now that you have decided that you are primarily looking at a cone-shaped mountain, it’s time to determine the volume of a cone.
The formula for the volume of a cone is going to be to take a third of the base and multiply it by its height .
To figure out the base area of the cone, you will need to square the radius of the circle and then multiply it by pi ().
Step 3: Calculating The Formula
Although these formulas are great to have, you will need to ensure that you have proper data to insert into the formula.
You will need an estimate of the radius of the mountain as well as the overall height.
When measuring a mountain like Mount Everest, the height is a very well-known fact, but for some smaller mountains, you may need to do a bit of additional research.
When you get your volume of a mountain, this is still not your overall weight.
The number you get when determining the volume of the cone is going to be given to you in cubic feet.
This is essentially the amount of space that the mountain has inside it.
Step 4: Determining The Weight
Once you have the volume of your mountain, you will need to translate this to a weight.
As we mentioned, the volume calculation will give you the answer in cubic feet.
Now you must determine how much each cubic foot of the mountain is going to weigh.
Depending on the makeup of the mountain, you will have to estimate this number.
Overall, you will be able to tell that the weight of a mountain is typically in the billions to trillions of pounds.
Although mountains are tall and can grow each year, they are still some of the heaviest things on the planet.
Most of this has to do with their overall size.
Once you have an estimate for the amount a mountain will weigh per cubic foot, you can multiply this by the volume of your mountain for a general estimate.
What Factors Impact The Weight Of A Mountain?
As you can see, calculating the weight of a mountain takes a bit of work and time.
There are some numbers that you may or may not have, and you will likely have to do a bit of estimating.
The other issue is that the weight of the mountain is not always going to be exact.
Certain things are continually changing as we measure weight.
Even if you weigh yourself from one day to the next, you will notice that weights can easily change.
Here are a few of the things that are going to impact the weight of a mountain.
Some mountains are mostly covered in grass while others are covered in large rocks and boulders.
As you can very well imagine, the rocks that are on top of the mountain will impact the overall weight of the mountain.
Rocks are considerably heavier than grass and brush, and therefore, the overall weight of the mountain will go up.
For those who are figuring out their mountain based on the overall volume, you will need to be aware of how the weight of the rocks will increase the total weight of the mountain.
Mountains are affected by snow.
Tall mountains are typically high enough up that they can have snow on the peaks at all times throughout the year.
Snow is quite heavy and will also increase the overall weight of the mountain.
The weight of snow is about 15 pounds per cubic foot.
As when we were doing our calculations for a mountain the size of Everest, you will be talking about billions of cubic feet.
Try multiplying this by the 15 pounds per cubic foot of snow.
You will quickly notice that the overall weight of the mountain will end up in the trillions with the amount of snow that it can have on it at any given time.
In addition to the rocks and snow, there are also trees on the mountains.
Many of these trees are pretty thick because they have not been cut down to add to developments and roads.
The trees at the top of a mountain will add a considerable amount to the overall weight.
As these trees grow in time, they will get heavier and weigh the mountain down more and more.
If you predict the weight of a mountain, you will likely have to realize that it is going to change considerably by the time that you weigh it again.
Did you know that some mountains tend to grow over time?
Not all mountains are considered active, and they could grow or shrink in time.
Other mountains, though, have grown through the ages.
This growth is typically prolonged, and it will not be a sudden change that you can see.
The growth is related to the movement of the plates and the earth and how that impacts the overall position and height of the mountain.
It is more common to see a mountain grow in width than it is to see it grow in height.
You can think of this almost as the mountain starting to spread out over time and take up more space.
The more growth and movement that you see, the harder it is to get a specific weight of the mountain at any given time.
In the course of a day, it’s hard to say how much the mountain has changed.
Did you know that gravity will also affect the weight at which a mountain is measured?
Let’s take, for instance, a person who is measured at sea level and one measured at the top of Mount Everest.
The person at sea level will weigh considerably more than the person at the top of Everest.
The reason behind this is that, as you move up higher, the gravity becomes lower.
Gravity is what pulls everything down to the earth, which keeps us on the ground.
When you move up in altitude, the gravity tends to get to be a bit less, and therefore, weight is impacted.
Of course, we remain the same mass because our bodies are not changing, yet the overall weight is going to be affected.
Therefore, when we do the calculation to determine the weight of a mountain and get the basic number for the volume, technically, that number would be different at each of the heights of the mountain.
The top of the mountain won’t weigh nearly as much as the bottom of the mountain.
This is not just because of the size but because of the gravity at the various locations up and down the mountain.
Overall, the factor of gravity will have a much larger effect on the mountains that are the highest up.
If you have a mountain of more than 5,000 feet, the gravity at the top of the mountains will be affected considerably.
The next time you go on a diet and want to feel good about it, head out on a hike up in the mountains!
Mountains are mostly made of metamorphic rock.
However, the makeup of all mountains is going to be a bit different.
This means that some will have rock, sand, granite, dirt, and more.
The individual makeup of the mountain and all that it consists of is going to impact the overall weight of the mountain.
This is yet another factor that you will have to estimate, as there is really no way for you to tell what the mountain is made of.
Most of the time, people generally know if it is a heavy rocky mountain or a lighter weight sandy mountain with a good amount of soil.
As you can see from these different factors that affect the weight of a mountain, it becomes nearly impossible to get an exact weight for a mountain at any given time.
The more you focus on this, the more frustrating it is going to be.
Simply make some good estimates and get a general idea of the billions or trillions of pounds that a mountain will be.
Is Mount Everest The Tallest Mountain?
Since we have referred to the weight of Mount Everest a few times in our post, it may be helpful to know a bit more about Mount Everest.
Mount Everest is often referred to as the highest mountain on Earth.
At its peak, the height of Mount Everest is 29,029 feet.
The highest point above sea level is the top of Mount Everest.
However, this tends to get a bit more confusing when you consider the fact that the top of Mount Everest is not the farthest point from the center of Earth.
The Earth tends to be a bit thicker near the equator because of the rotation of the planet.
Therefore, there is another peak that is much further from the Earth’s center than that of Mount Everest.
The mountain with the greatest distance from Earth’s center is Mount Chimborazo.
The mountain is located very close to the equator, so it gets the benefit of the slight bulge offered by this equator.
The height of the peak of Chimborazo is 20,564 feet from sea level.
However, due to the bulge created at the equator, the distance from the center of the earth to the top of the peak is about 6,000 more feet than Mount Everest.
This is not the most commonly known fact, and it is more common to say that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain around.
In addition, it is good to note that not all mountains are located above the ground.
Mauna Kea is a volcano in the Pacific Ocean that is 33,500 feet to its peak.
Of course, because part of this is below sea level, people don’t often consider it a mountain, yet it is still a mountain.
Hopefully, you can now see that there is quite a bit to learn and understand about mountains.
The mountain ranges that we have in the world are exciting and ever-changing.
If you care about nature and the environment, you can learn a great deal from these mountains and the effect they have on our world.
Don’t let any of this information fool you.
Mountains are heavy, and you will have a hard time getting the exact weight anytime soon.
It’s best to just leave that to the scientists!