Mt Elberus
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Mt. Elberus

July 7, 2003
The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each of the Earth’s seven continents. However, there is disagreement about where the border between Europe and Asia is located in Russia. One commonly cited boundary for the easternmost edge of Europe is the Ural Mountains, which brings the Caucasus Mountains within Europe. The Caucasus’ tallest mountain, Elberus, is 5,642 meters (18,510 feet) high, higher than Western Europe’s Mt. Blanc in the Alps, the European contender if the Caucaucas are instead considered within Asia. Elberus has two summits, the east summit being the lower of the two at 5,621 meters, both of which are dominant volcanic domes.

The Caucasus Mountains are the result of a tectonic plate collision between the Arabian plate moving northward with respect to the Eurasian plate. They form a continuation of the Himalayas, which are being pressed upwards by a similar collison zone with the Eurasian and Indian plates.

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