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What would happen if a mountain just appeared in a desert?

This would happen by magical means, but what would happen to the surrounding ecosystem if a large mountain just appeared in the middle of a sandy desert? I haven't thought of the specifics (height, radius, etc.), but would like some help with the idea.

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    $\begingroup$ @RonJohn Does it matter? $\endgroup$ – John Locke Oct 14 '18 at 23:25
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    $\begingroup$ Is the mountain built into the ground? For example, suddenly wedging a mountain into the earth will probably cause an earthquake at the very least. $\endgroup$ – John Locke Oct 14 '18 at 23:26
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    $\begingroup$ Mountains are very very heavy. The first thing which will happen is that the mountain will sink into the ground, causing interesting immediate effects, such as earthquakes and large transformations of the topography all around. After a while things will settle down, and long term effects will begin to emerge; to know what those will be we would need to know how big the mountain is, in what desert and where is the mountain supposed to appear. A mountain in the middle of the Grand Erg Oriental is one thing, a mountain in the Thar near the Great Rann of Kutch may be quite another. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Oct 14 '18 at 23:49
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexP You should expand that into an answer $\endgroup$ – John Locke Oct 14 '18 at 23:58
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding stack exchange. I suggest you try to be more specific about what you want to get as an answer. For this specific question, immediate change, long term change, do you have a goal or reason to prove or find out, do you want to get to some specific setting or anything goes, etc. Also, if you tell more about your set up, where's the desert, who live there, what happens there of relevance. Although you don't need to overly add those suggestion, I think you'll find better answers if you add more clarity. $\endgroup$ – Faed Oct 15 '18 at 0:25
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Several effects may happen, depending on the size of the mountain and which desert it pops into.

If the mountain is high enough to block clouds, it will cause rains on the side that does the blocking. That may create an oasis by the mountain base. If those clouds would regularly go rain somewhere else, you may turn that somewhere else into a desert.

Also notice that the wind may pick up sand from deserts and deposits that sand continents away. That sand may be important to another ecosystem. From NASA:

NASA Satellite Reveals How Much Saharan Dust Feeds Amazon’s Plants

A single mountain might not block the Sahara, but a mountain range might.

Last but not least. Sometimes a desert area exists within mountain ranges (i.e.: a region of the Sahara called the Tibesti, not to be confused with the Tibet, though Tibet is also desertic around some peaks). Dropping a mountain on a mountain may cause Xzibit to exclaim "yo dawg" a landslide of biblical proportions, potentially causing a big earthquake in the region. At the very least the original mountain would never be the same.

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Pressure melting, mountains weight gigatonnes you put that weight onto a sandy desert basin the sand will liquefy under the pressure, and flow out from under the newly added weight. This will produce an obsidian-like lake of glass around the foot of the new edifice. Depending on the volume and concentration of iron precipitates in the desert basin in question this lake deposit may also contain veins of relatively pure iron ores. Once the mountain has settled into the basin it will start to depress the basin floor until it comes back in to isostatic equilibrium, coming to rest at roughly the same altitude as any other, local, mountainous terrain. Depending how fast these settling processes are the mountain itself will also break up to varying degrees, spreading and sliding out over the immediate area.

Once the mountain settles into a final, stable, configuration it will probably have little if any effect on the desert as a whole. There are after all mountains in many deserts, the Sahara has the Hoggar, the Tibesti, and the Aïr ranges. The driest desert in the world is partly caused by its mountains and the cold deserts of Siberia and Antarctica also have major mountain ranges like the Ural and the Prince Albert ranges.

The only way a new mountain at the core of a desert would create a major change will be if the desert is the result of a rain-shadow and the appearance of the new mountain either causes a breach in the rain barrier (possible, due to melting and/or collapse effects caused by basin deformation) or is big enough to capture high altitude moisture (it could be to start with but it won't stay that way). In either of these cases the desert could get wetter but otherwise very little will change.

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