8 ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF BLOCK MOUNTAINS




A block mountain is a mountain consisting of a block or blocks bounded by normal faults in the earth’s crust.

They are formed by the movement of large crustal blocks when forces in the Earth’s crust pull it apart. Some parts of the Earth are pushed upward and others collapse down.

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Economic importance of Block Mountains include:

  • Block Mountains are tourist attractions thus help countries to earn foreign exchange. These mountains often have steep faces on one side and a gentle slope on the other, resulting in unique and dramatic landscapes. These features make them popular tourist destinations for activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and sightseeing. Additionally, block mountains often have diverse ecosystems and wildlife, making them attractive for nature enthusiasts. Their scenic beauty, recreational opportunities, and natural diversity make them a major attraction for tourists.
  • Block Mountains with ice on top are sources of rivers when ice melt and these provide water for irrigation, transport and industrial development.  
  • Block Mountains modify climate through influencing the formation of orographic rainfall.  




  • Some Block Mountains contain minerals thus lead to the development of the mining industry for example former copper extraction from the Rwenzori Mountains and the current cobalt extraction.  
  • Rivers originating from Block Mountains form waterfalls from which hydro electric power is generated thus helpful for industrial development.  
  • Block Mountains contain forests thus promote development of the forestry industry or lumbering which is a source of income.  Block mountains can provide a wide range of resources and opportunities for the forestry industry, including timber, recreation, biodiversity, and afforestation and reforestation projects. These resources and opportunities can help to promote sustainable development and economic growth in the region.
  • Forests existing on Block Mountains can be turned into national parks or game reserves for example queen Elizabeth national park on Rwenzori Mountains thus promoting wild life conservation and tourism.  
  • Block Mountains assist in communication as radio and telephone communication gargets are situated on such areas of high altitude to transmit waves.  
  • Slopes of Block Mountains contain fertile soils and this promotes human settlement and agriculture for example the Batwa and Bakonjo live on the slopes of mount Rwenzori.




Importance of fold mountains

  • Some fold mountains may expose minerals such as oil, iron and limestone which benefit people.
  • Snow covered slopes of fold mountains encourage sporting activities
  • Relief rainfall is formed on windward slope of mountains and benefit people.
  • Some fold mountains are so beautiful that they attract tourists and bring in foreign currency.
  • Some fold mountains attract settlement as they are good for defence.

Problems of fold mountains




  • Steep slopes hinder settlements
  • Steep slopes lead to high rate of erosion
  • High erosion causes shallow soils which makes it difficult to practise arable farming.
  • Sometimes mountains block lines of communication such as roads and railway lines making construction of these very expensive.
  • Rain shadow zones which are prone to drought may be created on the leeward side