A horst or block mountain is formed due to faulting.
There are many block mountains in East Africa e.g. Mt. Rwenzori in Uganda.
In Kenya, they include; Aberdare ranges, Mt. Nyiru, Mt.Mathews and Mt Ndoto.
In Tanzania, they include; Usambara, Uluguru, Mt. Pare, Mbeya ranges, Iramba plateaus, and Ufipa plateau.
FORMATION OF THE BLOCK MOUNTAIN
- It’s formed as a result of tensional forces acting on the landmass.
- As the forces continue to pull apart, fault lines are formed and the landmass is divided into three blocks.
- Due to differential sinking, the side blocks sink downwards faster while the middle blocks remain standing to form a horst or block mountain.
PROBLEMS FACED BY PEOPLE LIVING NEAR THE BLOCK MOUNTAINS
- The leeward side is in the rain shadow hence having dry conditions e.g. Kasese and Ankole-Masaka Corridor.
- Block Mountains are barriers to construction of transport and communication lines.
- Block Mountains accelerate soil erosion which leads to loss of soil fertility.
- Landslides are common along Mountain slopes which are destructive to human life.
- Mountain tops are not suitable for human settlement due to extremely low temperatures.
- Block Mountains are associated with earthquakes which are destructive to human life and property.
- Block Mountains limit the use of machines in agriculture due to steep slopes.
- Mountain tops are good hiding places for rebels who cause insecurity in surrounding areas.
- Forests along the mountains harbour dangerous wild animals which scare away human settlements.
- The dense population near mountains leads to land fragmentation on the lower slopes leading to low output.