Wrangell Mountains
Overview
 
The Wrangell Mountains are a high mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

 of eastern Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Much of the range is included in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve. The Wrangell Mountains are almost entirely volcanic in origin, and they include the second and third highest volcanoes in the United States, Mount Blackburn
Mount Blackburn
Mount Blackburn is the highest peak in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska in the United States. It is the fifth highest peak in the United States and the twelfth highest peak in North America. The mountain is an old, eroded shield volcano, the second highest volcano in the United States behind Mount...

 and Mount Sanford. The range takes its name from Mount Wrangell
Mount Wrangell
Mount Wrangell is a massive shield volcano located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeastern Alaska, United States. The shield rises over above the Copper River to its southwest. Its volume is over , making it more than twice as massive as Mount Shasta in California, the...

, which is one of the largest andesite
Andesite
Andesite is an extrusive igneous, volcanic rock, of intermediate composition, with aphanitic to porphyritic texture. In a general sense, it is the intermediate type between basalt and dacite. The mineral assemblage is typically dominated by plagioclase plus pyroxene and/or hornblende. Magnetite,...

 shield volcano
Shield volcano
A shield volcano is a type of volcano usually built almost entirely of fluid lava flows. They are named for their large size and low profile, resembling a warrior's shield. This is caused by the highly fluid lava they erupt, which travels farther than lava erupted from more explosive volcanoes...

es in the world, and also the only presently active volcano in the range.
Encyclopedia
The Wrangell Mountains are a high mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

 of eastern Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Much of the range is included in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve. The Wrangell Mountains are almost entirely volcanic in origin, and they include the second and third highest volcanoes in the United States, Mount Blackburn
Mount Blackburn
Mount Blackburn is the highest peak in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska in the United States. It is the fifth highest peak in the United States and the twelfth highest peak in North America. The mountain is an old, eroded shield volcano, the second highest volcano in the United States behind Mount...

 and Mount Sanford. The range takes its name from Mount Wrangell
Mount Wrangell
Mount Wrangell is a massive shield volcano located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeastern Alaska, United States. The shield rises over above the Copper River to its southwest. Its volume is over , making it more than twice as massive as Mount Shasta in California, the...

, which is one of the largest andesite
Andesite
Andesite is an extrusive igneous, volcanic rock, of intermediate composition, with aphanitic to porphyritic texture. In a general sense, it is the intermediate type between basalt and dacite. The mineral assemblage is typically dominated by plagioclase plus pyroxene and/or hornblende. Magnetite,...

 shield volcano
Shield volcano
A shield volcano is a type of volcano usually built almost entirely of fluid lava flows. They are named for their large size and low profile, resembling a warrior's shield. This is caused by the highly fluid lava they erupt, which travels farther than lava erupted from more explosive volcanoes...

es in the world, and also the only presently active volcano in the range. The Wrangell Mountains comprise most of the Wrangell Volcanic Field, which also extends into the neighboring Saint Elias Mountains
Saint Elias Mountains
The Saint Elias Mountains are a subgroup of the Pacific Coast Ranges, located in southeastern Alaska in the United States, southwestern Yukon and the very far northwestern part of British Columbia in Canada. The range spans Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in the USA and Kluane...

 and the Yukon Territory in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.

The Wrangell Mountains are just to the northwest of the Saint Elias Mountains
Saint Elias Mountains
The Saint Elias Mountains are a subgroup of the Pacific Coast Ranges, located in southeastern Alaska in the United States, southwestern Yukon and the very far northwestern part of British Columbia in Canada. The range spans Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in the USA and Kluane...

 and northeast of the Chugach Mountains
Chugach Mountains
The Chugach Mountains of southern Alaska are the northernmost of the several mountain ranges that make up the Pacific Coast Ranges of the western edge of North America. The range is about 500 km long, running generally east-west. Its highest point is Mount Marcus Baker, at , but most of its...

, which are along the coast of the Gulf of Alaska
Gulf of Alaska
The Gulf of Alaska is an arm of the Pacific Ocean defined by the curve of the southern coast of Alaska, stretching from the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island in the west to the Alexander Archipelago in the east, where Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage are found.The entire shoreline of the Gulf is...

. These ranges have the combined effect of blocking the inland areas from warmer moist air over the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. The inland areas to the north of the Wrangell Mountains are therefore among the coldest areas of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 during the winter.

Major peaks

The Wrangell Mountains include 12 of the 40+ Alaskan peaks over 13,000 ft (see fourteener
Fourteener
In mountaineering terminology in the United States, a fourteener is a mountain that exceeds 14,000 feet above mean sea level. There are 547 fourteeners in the world. The importance of fourteeners is greatest in Colorado, which has the majority of such peaks in North America...

s and thirteener
Thirteener
In mountaineering in the United States, a thirteener is a mountain that exceeds above mean sea level, similar to the more familiar "fourteeners," which exceed...

s):
  • Mount Blackburn
    Mount Blackburn
    Mount Blackburn is the highest peak in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska in the United States. It is the fifth highest peak in the United States and the twelfth highest peak in North America. The mountain is an old, eroded shield volcano, the second highest volcano in the United States behind Mount...

    , 16390 feet (4,996 m), and East Summit, 16286 ft (4,964 m)
  • Mount Sanford, 16237 feet (4,949 m), and South Peak, 13654 ft (4,162 m)
  • Mount Wrangell
    Mount Wrangell
    Mount Wrangell is a massive shield volcano located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in southeastern Alaska, United States. The shield rises over above the Copper River to its southwest. Its volume is over , making it more than twice as massive as Mount Shasta in California, the...

    , 14163 feet (4,317 m), and West Summit, 14013 ft (4,271 m)
  • Atna Peaks
    Atna Peaks
    Atna Peaks is an eroded stratovolcano or shield volcano in the Wrangell Mountains of eastern Alaska. It is located in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park about 6 mi  east of Mount Blackburn, the second highest volcano in the United States, and just south of the massive Nabesna Glacier...

    , 13860 ft (4,225 m)
  • Regal Mountain
    Regal Mountain
    Regal Mountain is an eroded stratovolcano or shield volcano in the Wrangell Mountains of eastern Alaska. It is located in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park about east of Mount Blackburn, the second highest volcano in the United States, and southeast of the massive Nabesna Glacier...

    , 13845 ft (4,220 m)
  • Mount Jarvis
    Mount Jarvis
    Mount Jarvis is an eroded shield volcano in the Wrangell Mountains of eastern Alaska. It is located in Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park about east of the summit of Mount Wrangell...

    , 13421 feet (4,091 m), and North Peak, 13025 ft (3,970 m)
  • Parka Peak, 13280 ft (4,048 m)
  • Mount Zanetti, 13009 ft (3,965 m)


Other prominent mountains include:
  • Mount Drum
    Mount Drum
    Mount Drum is a stratovolcano in the Wrangell Mountains of east-central Alaska in the United States. It is located at the extreme western end of the Wrangells, west-southwest of Mount Sanford and the same distance west-northwest of Mount Wrangell...

    , 12010 ft (3,661 m)

Name origin and references in popular culture

Mountains named after explorer, president of Russian-American Company
Russian-American Company
The Russian-American Company was a state-sponsored chartered company formed largely on the basis of the so-called Shelekhov-Golikov Company of Grigory Shelekhov and Ivan Larionovich Golikov The Russian-American Company (officially: Under His Imperial Majesty's Highest Protection (patronage)...

, admiral Ferdinand von Wrangel
Ferdinand von Wrangel
Baron Ferdinand Friedrich Georg Ludwig von Wrangel – May 25 , 1870) was a Russian explorer and seaman, Honorable Member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences, a founder of the Russian Geographic Society...

. American folk singer John Denver
John Denver
Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. , known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer/songwriter, activist, and humanitarian. After growing up in numerous locations with his military family, Denver began his music career in folk music groups in the late 1960s. His greatest commercial success...

wrote a song, "Wrangell Mountain Song", in reference to the range.


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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