A Geological Ode to the Life and Death of a Mountain (Video)

Ever wondered what lies behind the shaping of the Earth’s surface?

The Weight of Mountains is the most original short film I’ve seen about the processes through which mountains are made and eventually destroyed.

Stunning Icelandic Scenery. (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

Mountains are born reaching upward toward the sun. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

British filmmaker Temujin Doran based the piece on the work of British geographer Sir Dudley Stamp. It was shot in Iceland and also combines animation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio.

For any filmmaker, the landscape is an important element. You come to learn that landscape embodies character. The goal of this film was to gain more insight into the character of this mountainous landscape by understanding the life of mountains through geology.

The language of geology has never felt so poetic as it does to me in this film.

Much like living creatures, we learn that mountains have a beginning, middle, and an end.

And that the life of the mountain mimics our own. It is a life that carries the weight of being.

Watching the film made me stop for a moment to pay homage to these beauties that dominate the horizon. I thought about just how wonderful the creation, life, death, and re-birth of our mountains are. It is amazing to learn about the how and why from a geologist’s point of view, which left me with the thought: “Nature is so incredibly clever!”

The film is under 12 minutes, I hope you enjoy it.

The process of mountain formation, especially by a folding and faulting of the earth's crust. (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

A mountain is formed when colliding plates force up the rock between them or when plates drift apart, releasing great masses of molten material from beneath the crust. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

Geology To expose (rock strata) by erosion. (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

As soon as they are created, mountains are immediately subject to natural forces always seeking to lower the general level of the landscape. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

When rock is exposed to the rays of the sun, its surface layers become hot and tend to expand. On the sunward side of a mountainous valley, whole rocks can disintegrate and form a mass of coarse angular fragments. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

Rainfall on rocks can wash away loose particles or softer rocks, or carry a chemical action. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

The jagged outlines of so many mountain ranges is mostly due to the action of frost. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

The action of gravity can be drastic after earthquakes, as landslides can alter the landscape more rapidly than any other force. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

Wind removes loose dust and sand from the mountainsides, and exposes surfaces of solid rock to the action of other weathering ages.  (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

As the glacier moves, it carves out the landscape beneath it.  (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

Plants play an important part in wearing away the land.  (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

Man has a direct influence as a geological agent. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

 (Image: Screenshot/Vimeo)

Over the course of millions of years, water carries the mountain to the sea, a teaspoon at a time. (Screenshot/Vimeo)

Please share this if you think someone else might like it too.

Don't Miss This Golden Chance to Say Hi to Brown, Cony, Sally and James
Saving Aslan: The Lion Whisperer Gets His White Lion to the Dentist for Surgery