by The American Geosciences Institute Sunday, November 1, 2015
This mountain, whose slopes straddle two countries, is the highest in its range at about 4,810 meters and is the namesake for the massive block of granite and gneiss from which it and the surrounding peaks are formed.
Although the granite dates to about 300 million years ago, it only began to be uplifted about 22 million years ago. More recently, glaciers and persistent snow cover — which likely inspired the mountain’s name — have sculpted the peak into its present shape.
Not surprisingly, the area is very popular with outdoors enthusiasts, particularly bikers and skiers; in fact, one of the nearby communities hosted the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
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Answer: Straddling the border between Italy and France, Mont Blanc rises to 4,810 meters. The peaks are Mont Blanc granite, which dates to about 300 million years ago, and were uplifted beginning about 22 million years ago. More recently, glaciers have sculpted the peak into its present shape. The nearby town of Chamonix, France, hosted the 1924 Winter Olympics. Photo is by Claudia Schwab.
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