THE STRUCTURE OF MOUNTAINS
‘Orogenesis’ or what is commonly known as folding is responsible for the formation of mountains ranges on the crust of the earth. Geologists tell us that the radius of the Earth is about 3,750 miles and the crust on which we live is very thin, ranging between 1 to 30 miles.
That is, occupying only one hundredth of the earth’s radius while the deeper layers are hot and fluid, and thus inhospitable to any form of life. It is also known that the stability of the mountains is linked to the phenomenon of folding, for it was the folds that were to provide foundations for the reliefs that constitute the mountains. Since the crust is thin, it has a high possibility of shaking. Mountains act like stakes or tent pegs that hold the earth’s crust and give it stability. The Qur’an contains exactly such a description in the following verse:
"Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse, And the mountains as pegs?" [Al-Qur’an 78:6-7]
The word ‘awtad’ means stakes or pegs (like those used to anchor a tent); they are the deep foundations of geological folds. In another verse, the Qur’an says:
"God) has cast in to the ground (mountains) standing firm, so that it does not shake with you." [Al-Qur’an 31:10] According to Dr. Press, the author of the geology textbook ‘Earth’ the mountains play an important role in stabilizing the crust of the earth. In this book he has illustrated the mountain in a wedge-shape and the mountain itself as a small part of the whole, whose root is deeply entrenched in the ground.