Mountains often serve as geographic features that define natural borders of countries their height can influence weather patterns stalling storms that roll off the oceans and squeezing water . Making mountains some mountains form when the big slabs of rock called tectonic plates that make up the earths crust crash into each other over millions of years the sheets of rock push up and over one another creating the mountain others form when vents in the earths surface erupt and spew lava out onto the ground the lava piles up and cools. National geographic society is a 501 c3 organization c 1996 2018 national geographic society all rights reserved see our stories at nationalgeographic . The rocky mountains are a large mountain range located in the western part of north america in the united states and canada the rockies as they are also known pass through northern new mexico and into colorado wyoming idaho and montana in canada the range stretches along the border of
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