Blue Mountains


Blue Mountains
a range of low mountains in NE Oregon and SE Washington.

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I
Mountain range, eastern Jamaica.

It extends from north of Kingston eastward 30 mi (50 km) to the Caribbean Sea. Its highest point is Blue Mountain Peak, at 7,388 ft (2,252 m). It experiences heavy rain and widely divergent temperatures. Blue Mountain coffee is famous for its excellent quality.
II

Located in New South Wales, the range rises 2,000–3,000 ft (600–900 m). Once used as a retreat by wealthy Sydney residents, it is now accessible by good roads and is a popular tourist area; its growth in population has been dramatic. The city of Blue Mountains (pop., 2001 prelim: 77,051) was incorporated in 1947.

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▪ mountains, Jamaica
      range in eastern Jamaica that extends for about 30 miles (50 km) from Stony Hill, 8 miles north of Kingston, eastward to the Caribbean Sea. The highest point in the range is Blue Mountain Peak (7,402 feet [2,256 metres]). The Blue Mountains are thickly covered with tree ferns. The slopes facing the trade winds receive an average of 200 inches (5,000 mm) of rain annually, resulting in much topsoil erosion and a network of streams. Winter temperatures generally may fall to 45 °F (7 °C), but frost and sleet have been experienced on Blue Mountain Peak. Coffee, formerly grown on large plantations, is cultivated in the valleys by peasants. It is among the most expensive coffees in the world and is exported mainly to Japan.

▪ mountains, New South Wales, Australia
 section of the Great Dividing Range, New South Wales, Australia. The range comprises a well-dissected sandstone plateau that rises from an eastern escarpment (1,200–1,800 feet [370–550 metres]) to 3,871 feet (1,180 metres) in a western scarp at Bird Rock. Its slopes are generally precipitous. The first Europeans to cross the range were the explorers Gregory Blaxland, William C. Wentworth, and William Lawson in 1813. The range was used as a retreat for wealthy Sydney residents; it is now accessible by good roads and forms a popular tourist area with many scenic attractions, including Jenolan Caves and the Zig Zag (an abandoned railway providing a route over the mountains). Blue Mountains National Park, a 954-square-mile (2,470-square-km) nature reserve centred on the Grose River valley, lies within the region. The mountains are named for their bluish colour, which apparently is caused by light rays diffusing through droplets of oil dispersed into the air by the many types of indigenous eucalyptus trees.

      The City of Blue Mountains is a confederation of more than 20 townships, formed in 1947. The principal centres are Katoomba, Leura, Mount Victoria, Blackheath, Springwood, Wentworth Falls, and Hazelbrook, all of which lie on both the rail line and Great Western Highway between Sydney (40 miles [60 km] east) and Lithgow on the western slopes of the mountains. Urban growth has been rapid, as the area is a popular vacation centre. Pop. (2006) local government area, 74,069.

▪ mountains, Oregon-Washington, United States
      range curving northeastward for 190 mi (310 km) from central Oregon to southeastern Washington, U.S. The range reaches a width of 68 mi and an average elevation of about 6,500 ft (2,000 m); it comprises an uplifted, warped, and dissected lava plateau, above which rise several higher mountain ridges, including Aldrich, Strawberry, and Elkhorn. The highest peak is Rock Creek Butte (9,105 ft), on the Elkhorn Ridge. The mountains are drained by tributaries of the Columbia River. At lower elevations, the basins or flats are cultivated, some with irrigation. The slopes are heavily forested with pine and Douglas fir. Stock grazing and outdoor recreation are the main activities in the region since the decline of mining. The mountains are within parts of the Umatilla, Whitman, and Malheur national forests and probably received their name from the dark-blue appearance of the pine trees.

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Universalium. 2010.