geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which th ...
, a massif ( or ) is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term also refers to a group of
mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least ...

s formed by such a structure. In
mountaineering Mountaineering, or alpinism, is the set of activities that involves ascending mountains. Mountaineering-related activities include traditional outdoor climbing, skiing, and traversing via ferratas. Indoor climbing, sport climbing and boul ...
climbing Climbing is the activity of using one's hands, feet, or any other part of the body to ascend a steep topographical object. It is done for locomotion, recreation and competition, and within trades that rely on ascension; such as emergency res ...
literature, a massif is frequently used to denote the main mass of an individual mountain. The massif is a smaller structural unit of the crust than a
tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust and uppermost mantle, together referred to as the lithosphere. The plates are around thick and consist of two principal types of material: ocea ...
and is considered the fourth largest driving force in
geomorphology incised into shale at the foot of the North Caineville Plateau, Utah, within the pass carved by the Fremont River and known as the Blue Gate. GK Gilbert studied the landscapes of this area in great detail, forming the observational foundation f ...
. The word is taken from French (in which the word also means "massive"), where it is used to refer to a large mountain mass or compact group of connected mountains forming an independent portion of a range. One of the most notable
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest ...
an examples of a massif is the
Massif Central The Massif Central (; oc, Massís Central, ; literally ''"Central Massif"'') is a highland region in the middle of Southern France, consisting of mountains and plateaus. It covers about 15% of mainland France. Subject to volcano, volcanism that ...
of the
Auvergne Auvergne (; ; oc, label=Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin l ...
region of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and Overseas France, several overseas regions and territories. The metro ...
. The
Face on Mars Cydonia (, ) is a region on the planet Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury (planet), Mercury. In English, Mars carries the name of the Mars (mytholog ...
is an example of an extraterrestrial massif. Massifs may also form underwater, as with the Atlantis Massif.

List of massifs


* Adrar des Ifoghas – Mali *Aïr Mountains, Aïr Massif – Niger *Benna Massif – Guinea *Bongo Massif – Central African Republic *Ennedi Plateau - Chad *Kilimanjaro Massif – border of Kenya and Tanzania *Oban Massif – Nigeria *Marojejy National Park, Marojejy Massif – Madagascar *Mulanje Massif – Malawi *Virunga Massif – border shared by Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo *Waterberg Biosphere – South Africa


*Borg Massif *Craddock Massif *Cumpston Massif *Vinson Massif *Otway Massif


*Annapurna – Nepal *Bundelkhand – India *Chu Pong Massif – Vietnam *Dena – Iran *Dhaulagiri – Nepal *Gasherbrum – Pakistan *Hazaran – Iran *Kholeno – Iran *Kangchenjunga – Nepal–India *Knuckles Mountain Range, Knuckles Massif – Sri Lanka *Kondyor Massif – Russia *Köýtendag Range, Kugitangtau Ridge – Turkmenistan *Logar ultrabasite massif – Afghanistan *Mount Ararat – Turkey *Mount Damavand – Iran *Mount Everest massif (including Lhotse) – border of Nepal and Tibet (China) *Mount Kinabalu – Malaysia *Mount Tomuraushi (Daisetsuzan), Mount Tomuraushi – Japan *Nanga Parbat – Pakistan *Nun Kun – India *Panchchuli – India *Sabalan – Iran *Shillong – India *Takht-e Suleyman Massif – Iran *Zard-Kuh – Iran


*Alpilles – France *Aravis Range – France *Ardennes Massif – France/Belgium/Luxembourg *Areskutan – Sweden *Arlberg – Austria *Armorican Massif – France *Bauges Massif – France *Roignais, Beaufortain Massif – France *Ben Nevis massif – United Kingdom *Bohemian Massif – Czech Republic *Bornes Massif – France *Massif des Calanques, Calanques Massif – France *Ceahlău Massif – Romania *Massif des Cerces, Cerces Massif – France *Chablais Alps, Chablais Massif – France *Chartreuse Massif – France *Cornubian Massif – United Kingdom *Dévoluy Massif – France *Massif des Écrins – France *Saint-Gotthard Massif, Gotthard Massif – Switzerland *Jungfrau Massif – Switzerland *Jura Mountains – France *Lauzière massif – France *Massif de l'Esterel, L'Esterel Massif – France *Long Mynd – United Kingdom *Lubéron – France *
Massif Central The Massif Central (; oc, Massís Central, ; literally ''"Central Massif"'') is a highland region in the middle of Southern France, consisting of mountains and plateaus. It covers about 15% of mainland France. Subject to volcano, volcanism that ...
– France *Massiccio del Matese - Italy *Mangerton Mountain – Ireland *Mercantour – France *Montgris – Spain *Montserrat (mountain), Montserrat – Spain *Mont Blanc massif – Italy/France/Switzerland *Massiccio del Pollino - Italy *Rila - Rhodope Mountains, Rhodope Massif – Bulgaria/Greece *Sila Massif – Italy *Snowdon Massif – United Kingdom *Taillefer Massif – France *Troodos Mountains, Troodos – Cyprus *Untersberg – Germany/Austria *Queyras Massif – France *Vanoise Massif – France *Vercors Plateau – France *Vitosha Massif – Bulgaria *Vosges Mountains – France

North America

*Adirondack Mountains, Adirondack Massif – New York (state), New York, USA *Mount Cayley massif – British Columbia, Canada *Laurentian Mountains, Laurentian Massif – Quebec, Canada *Le Massif – Canada *Denali – Alaska, USA *Level Mountain – Canada *Mount Edziza – Canada *Mount Juneau – Alaska, USA *Mount_Katahdin, Mount Katahdin - Maine, USA *Mount Le Conte (Tennessee), Mount Le Conte – Tennessee, USA *Mount Logan – Yukon, Canada *Mount Meager massif – Canada *Mount Septimus – Canada *Mount Shuksan – Washington (state), Washington, USA *Teton Range – Wyoming, USA


*Big Ben (Heard Island), Big Ben – Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Heard Island *Ahipara Gumfields (New Zealand), Ahipara Gumfields – New Zealand


*Massif de la Hotte – Haiti *Valle Nuevo Massif – Dominican Republic

South America

*Brasilia Massif – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay. *Neblina massif – Venezuela–Brazil border *Colombian Massif – Colombia *North Patagonian Massif – Argentina *Deseado Massif – Argentina


* Atlantis Massif – part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the North Atlantic Ocean *Tamu Massif — the largest volcano on Earth


{{reflist Landforms Mountains