AskDefine | Define Inselberg

Extensive Definition

This article is about the generic geologic term. For all other uses, see Monadnock (disambiguation)
Kopje and Koppie redirect here. Or you may be wanting the word "copy".
A monadnock or inselberg is an isolated hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. In southern and southern-central Africa, a similar formation of granite is known as a kopje from the Afrikaans word: koppie. In fact the word koppie is itself frequently employed in written South African English.
Monadnock is an originally Native American term for an isolated hill or a lone mountain that has risen above the surrounding area, typically by surviving erosion. The name was taken from Mount Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire (USA), in Jaffrey. The name is thought to derive from the Abenaki language, from either menonadenak ("smooth mountain") or menadena ("isolated mountain").
The word inselberg is German for "island mountain"; the name was originally coined to describe the abundant such features found in southern Africa. The term monadnock is more usually used in the US.


Volcanic or other processes may give rise to a body of rock resistant to erosion, inside a body of softer rock such as limestone which is more susceptible to erosion. When the less resistant rock is eroded away to form a plain, the more resistant rock is left behind as an isolated mountain. If the monadnock is dome-shaped and formed from granite-gneiss, it can also be called a bornhardt.

See also

Inselberg in German: Inselberg
Inselberg in French: Inselberg
Inselberg in Polish: Ostaniec
Inselberg in Portuguese: Inselberg
Inselberg in Slovenian: Osamelec
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