A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock.
A monocline is a step-like fold in rock strata consisting of a zone of steeper dip within an otherwise horizontal or gently-dipping sequence.
Mount Augustus is the world’s largest monocline. It is 2.5 times larger than Uluru (Ayers Rock), the world’s largest monolith.
Mount Augustus is an inselberg or monadnock which is an isolated hill or small mountain that rises abruptly from a surrounding plain (literally ‘island mountain’). Geologically, it is an asymmetrical anticline or monocline. Uluru, however, is a monolith – mono (‘one’ or ‘single’) and lithos (‘stone’). Mount Augustus is often referred to as both a monolith and (or) a monocline.
Mount Augustus is often referred to as both a monolith and (or) a monocline. However, because Mount Augustus is composed of multiple rock types it is inaccurate to call it a monolith – meaning one rock type – or claim that it is the ‘world’s biggest rock’. Likewise, describing it as a monocline, meaning a one-sided slope connecting two horizontal or gently inclined strata (layers) is also inaccurate.
© Kim Epton 2015-2022
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