Bornhardt Landforms


Bornhardt Landforms Have 3 Main Characteristics:

  1. Large dome shaped rock formation
  2. Steep or vertical sides
  3. Little or no vegetation

Example of a Bornhardt Landform:

The bornhardt picture is of Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

What is a Bornhardt Landform?

A bornhardt is an elevated portion of rock with steep sides, at least 100 feet high and is dome-shaped and bare on top. Most often they are made of granite or other hard rock, but can also be formed of limestone or sandstone, or a mixture of hard and soft rock. The shape of a bornhardt is often irregular. When they exist in a tropical climate, a little vegetation may be seen growing from its surface.

How are Bornhardts Formed?

A large rock formation that lies below ground within layers of sediment may slowly become exposed by erosion. The ground level may drop over thousands of years as sediment surrounding the rock is washed away by flooding or blown away by the wind. This occurs more often in the desert where there is little vegetation to protect the ground from erosion.

Where can a Bornhardt be found?

Bornhardts are normally surrounded by flat plains. They are often found in the desert, but can also be found in many other climates. A bornhardt in a tropical or other location may indicate that the region was at one time a desert in the past.

Famous Bornhardts

 Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
 Spitzkoppe, Namib Desert, Namibia
 Kata Tjuta, Northern Territory, Australia

At the head of Guanabara Bay of Rio De Janeiro stands Sugarloaf Mountain 1300 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Cable cars carry people to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for a view of the city. Sugarloaf is also famous for rock climbing. There are also two other large rock formations in the city with access by cable car and rock climbing routes above the city. In the country of Namibia in southern Africa, a group of granite bornhardts called the Spitzkoppe are found in the Namib Desert.

The highest rises 2300 feet above the desert floor and the granite has been estimated to be 700 million years old. The art of local bushmen is found on the rock formations at Spitzkoppe. Kata Tjuta, sometimes called Mount Olga, is the highest of another group of bornhardt rock formations in the Northern Territory of Australia.

They are composed of a mixture of granite and basalt with sandstone over the surface. There are 36 dome-shaped rocks, including Kata Tjuta at nearly 1800 feet above the surrounding plain.

Bornhardt definition:

A bornhardt is a rock formation with steep or vertical sides and a round or dome-shaped top

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