The Secrets of Rainbow Mountains

The seven shades of the spectrum spill onto the Earth in resplendent glory. I bring to you 3 mountain ranges from around the world,where the rainbow itself has descended and painted the world. Let’s get lost.

Vinicunca Mountain, Peru

Somewhere near Ausungate, the largest peak of Cusco region, is this small mountain called Vinicunca. The rainbow shades speaks for themselves. Off the tried and tested trekking trails, Vinicunca becomes easier to find and embrace  with the help of the locals in Cusco region and of course, Google Earth. It is one of the mountains in the longest mountain chain of the continent, The Great Andes.

The Rainbow Range, Canada

Located on the western edge of the Chilcotin Plateau in British Columbia,  this range was once called Tsitsutl, meaning “rainbow mountains” although now that is the name of the range’s highest peak.

Image result for Rainbow Range (Chilcotin Plateau)

The name, of course, is derived from the intense and varied colours of its terrain’s volcanic lava and sand occurring due to heavy mineralisation, like the Spectrum Range in the Spatsizi Plateau.

Image result for Rainbow Range (Chilcotin Plateau)

The Rainbow Range is an eight-million-year-old massive per-alkaline shield volcano in the Anahim Volcanic Belt which over many years got eroded by glaciers that carved the igneous mineral layers and exposed it to reveal the form it is in today.

Rainbow Mountains,Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park, China

Seemingly representing nature’s colour palette, this range has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.
Rainbow Mountains of China’s Zhangye Danxia National Geologic Park (Credit: imaginechina.com)
Rainbow Mountains of China’s Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park (Credit : Imagechina.com)

 

The reds, greens, yellows, and blues are result of the diagenetic and mineralogical processes.

 Rainbow Mountains of China’s Zhangye Danxia National Geologic Park (Credit: imaginechina.com)

Rainbow Mountains, China. (Photo credit : imagechina.com)

Over millions of years, layers of different types of rock—including red sandstone and a a lot of mineral deposits—formed on top of one another. Then 40 or 50 million years ago, the tectonic plate containing what would be the future India collided with the rest of Eurasia to form today’s Indian sub-continent and led to formation of The Great Himalayas.

 

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