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I think that this article should be merged with inselberg, with the exception of the origin of the name, the material covered is nearly identical --Leonsimms 18:41, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Um...There's a redirect from Inselberg to Monadnock. --YixilTesiphon Say hello Consider my Wikiproject idea 16:54, 10 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because the title of the page is monadnock, I presumed this would be the preferred term on English WP, and changed "inselberg" to "monadnock" where the former was being used as a generic term. "Examples of monadnocks" being immediately followed by "Notable inselbergs include..." was rather jarring. --Jnik 19:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Are Tepuis a type of Monadnock? If so, should the be added to the list? --NoahElhardt 02:44, 18 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And is the Devils Tower in Wyoming? Dricherby (talk) 10:41, 29 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

article name - requested move[edit]

As the US is the only country to refer to these formations as monadnocks, with inselbergs being more widely used I think this article should be moved to the title "Inselberg" and the terminology changed accordingly. --Brideshead(leave a message) 22:30, 26 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would have to agree that it should be titled "inselberg" rather than "monadnock". Inselberg is the more international term, to put this in perspective there are over 600 scientific articles with the word inselberg vs. 200 with monadnock (number estimate from Google scholar advance search). --orangesquid —Preceding undated comment was added at 07:27, 27 October 2008 (UTC).Reply[reply]
I've studied in the US, and never heard of Modanock... I was taught the term Inselburg, recently I've learned of another term bornhardt which apparently has the same meaning. (talk) 22:28, 3 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. I am not a geologist, but I have heard of monadnock; although I can see why Inselberg would mean the same thing, I am unfamiliar with it. We are edited for lay readers and not for specialists; and English names should be preferred to German ones. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 05:26, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Approve.A bit of background...I study the flora of granite outcrops, and I acknowledge there are a variety of ways to name this landform, but I feel strongly that the article title should be "inselberg". This is the most common term used in science, geology, ecology, and international (not just German) literature. Prior to checking out the wikipedia article, i had never heard the term "monadnock" before (maybe it is more of an Eastern US word). If you want to get into the etymology of naming, "inselberg" (German origin) has more in common with the English language than "monadnock" (Abnacki origin).Orangesquid (talk) 10:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your useful and moderate comments. On one point only: let's avoid the etymological test. To pick extremes, teak is an English word; dryhten isn't. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:20, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, fair enough. I am still opting for Inselberg though because that is the term that I most commonly use when looking for, writing about, or discussing this kind of land form (I admit occasionally geek out and talk about rocks with friends). Orangesquid (talk) 20:34, 8 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Is it possible that "monadnock" refers exclusively to larger structures? Things like Murphy's Haystacks, South Australia are referred to as "inselbergs", but I couldn't find any instances of something on that scale being referred to as a monadnock. (talk) 01:53, 11 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. Monadnock is clearly the more common use per the google test.
Results 1 - 10 of about 1,010,000 for Monadnock
Results 1 - 10 of about 125,000 for Inselberg
Also, it's not clear that the two terms refer to the same concept. Perhaps two separate articles is the solution here, each referring to the other. --Born2cycle (talk) 17:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment I would have to say that most of the Monadnock's in Google are about Mount Monadnock, based on the few that I checked, and not about the type of structure. Of the first 100 hits 96 appeared to be related to the Mount Monadnock region, one was an architect named Monadnock in the Netherlands, one was about the Monadnock Building in SF, one was a dictionary definition that said see inselberg, and only this article was about the type of structure. (talk) 03:51, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Compelling, but I don't see it.
Results 1 - 10 of about 982,000 for monadnock
Results 1 - 10 of about 833,000 for Monadnock -"Mount Monadnock"
Results 1 - 10 of about 752,000 for Monadnock -hike
Excluding hits on Mount Monadnock or "hike" does not make a big difference.
Results 1 - 10 of about 24,000 for monadnock +formation
Results 1 - 10 of about 11,900 for inselberg +formation
Monadnock wins with formation, 2:1.
Results 1 - 10 of about 17,800 for inselberg +rock
Results 1 - 10 of about 173,000 for monadnock +rock
Monadnock wins with rock, 10:1.
Results 1 - 10 of about 8,220 for inselberg +geology
Results 1 - 10 of about 19,700 for Monadnock +geology
Monadnock wins with geology, over 2:1.
Results 1 - 10 of about 3,970 for Monadnock +geologist
Results 1 - 10 of about 1,060 for Inselberg +geologist
Monadnock wins with geologist, 4:1.
I'm willing to change my mind on this, but I need to see some evidence. --Born2cycle (talk) 15:33, 14 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment Interesting take on the "google test", but i still don't agree with the previous conclusion. If you repeat the same methods, but refine the search to peer reviewed articles within google scholar (filtered to remove monadnock or inselberg as author name, restricted to "biology, life science, and environmental science") you get very different results.
Inselberg wins, 3:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 250 for monadnock
Results 1 - 10 of about 201 for Monadnock -"Mount Monadnock"
Results 1 - 10 of about 624 for inselberg
Inselberg wins with formation, 4:1.
Results 1 - 10 of about 66 for monadnock +formation
Results 1 - 10 of about 256 for inselberg +formation
Inselberg wins with rock, 3:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 88 for monadnock +rock
Results 1 - 10 of about 277 for inselberg +rock
Inselberg wins with geology, 3:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 44 for Monadnock +geology
Results 1 - 10 of about 114 for inselberg +geology
Inselberg wins with species, 3:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 180 for Monadnock +species
Results 1 - 10 of about 512 for Inselberg +species
Inselberg wins with ecology, 5:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 87 for Monadnock +ecology
Results 1 - 10 of about 414 for Inselberg +ecology
Inselberg wins with biology, 4:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 72 for Monadnock +biology
Results 1 - 10 of about 313 for Inselberg +biology
Inselberg wins with biodiversity, 8:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 29 for Monadnock +biodiversity
Results 1 - 10 of about 244 for Inselberg +biodiversity
Inselberg wins with biogeography, 9:1
Results 1 - 10 of about 17 for Monadnock +biogeography
Results 1 - 10 of about 148 for Inselberg +biogeography
Conclusion: Use inselberg when talking about geology, biology, or ecology associated with this kind of land form, term applicable internationally for both temperate and tropical regions. Less commonly used as a name, more often used as a general description of rock form. Use monadnock when referring to a specific name of a place (Monadnock State Park) or region (in New Hampsire)only applicable within the temperate zone of eastern United States. Orangesquid (talk) 05:52, 17 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note from WP:RM: I'm relisting this for further discussion on WP:RM. This doesn't seem to be finished yet. The discussion will be re-evaluated in five days time. Thank you.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 17:07, 18 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a late-comer, I would still point out that a) The main US use (if monadnock indeed be the main use) must not be confused with the main overall English use, and that very few non-USanians would be likely to search with what appears to be a Native-American term. Even "Kopje" is likely to be more internationally popular. b) An argument above that English terms should be prefered above German, is entirely specious, because both terms are loan words foreign to the English language. In fact, "Inselberg" arguably has the better claim of being English through the close relation between German and English, the (I presume) earlier borrowing, and (as already stated) greater international use.

Generally, I feel that many USanians are in the unfortunate habit of equating correct English with "American", see US culture as the natural basis for the English WP, etc. This is a complete misunderstanding: The English WP is the English language WP, not the US national WP. (talk) 13:01, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cleanup, January 2008 (including comments about the controversy, above)[edit]

Several references here were url-code only (no other information provided) and fell on deadlinks; I removed these and some of the information they supposedly supported. I also removed the section on flora, as it pertained specifically to flora in Australia, not to inselbergs/monadnocks in general. Perhaps this material could be reintroduced in a more limited and less narrowly-aimed fashion. I also removed some information that was not supported by references, and left citation tags in front of others.

I proveded references that demonstrate the use of the term monadnock, although I have no problem with this article being called inselberg instead. One term is as good as another. I also added information showing subtle distinctions between the two terms. However, the general non-consenus among geologists indicated by the material and references provided should caution any absolute definition here in this article.

I don't object to the reintroduction of some of the material I cut out, but please do provide good references and do make sure that the material is germaine to the entire topic, i.e. it should not be phrased in such a way as to favor one geologic opinion over another.

Finally, I removed the long list of examples to List of inselbergs, (favoring the broader, non-USA specific term), per WP:NOT and I reworked the image formatting and over-clustering. --Pgagnon999 (talk) 02:12, 7 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Regarding the interchangeability of the two terms, see this german-english engineering dictionary (electronic scan of print): here And here in this British geology text and here in the Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms published by the American Geological Institute--Pgagnon999 (talk) 02:20, 7 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And see here in this USDA glossary regarding the subtle distinction between the two that some geologic opinions ascribe to; and here by a geologist who considers the two to be interchangeable, page 7, second column: "There is a general homology between all (fluvially sculpted) landscapes. The differences between landforms of humid-temperate, semiarid, and arid environments are differences only of degree. Thus, for instance, monadnocks and inselbergs are homologous."--Pgagnon999 (talk) 02:42, 7 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ayer's Rock and the Olgas[edit]

Surely two of the most impressive examples must be Ayer's rock or The Olgas in Australia. Could they be included or am I mistaken that they are not monadnocks?Brinerustle (talk) 18:41, 26 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Separate monadnock and inselberg[edit]

According to Whittow's Physical Geography, the terms "monadnock" and "inselberg" are not synonymous. Under "inselberg" we read "Although it may appear to bear a morphological resemblance to a monadnock [an inselberg] is thought to be derived by the process of parallel retreat of slopes in which pediments encroach into residual uplands during the process of pediplanation. The inselberg is the end product of this encroachment and may occur as an isolated hill or in a residual group of hills." It then goes on to distinguish between a "bornhordt" and other formations. By contrast the "monadnock" is "an isolated hill or type of residual due to denudation which has left it rising conspicuously above a gently rolling plain ... usually but not necessarily related to an outcrop of more resistant rocks...". I therefore suggest we create a separate article on "inselberg", highlighting the difference and providing cross-references. --Bermicourt (talk) 16:19, 26 October 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bermicourt's description is closer to my recollection than the article, which rolls far too many types of landform under the heading "Inselberg". I was taught that this term referred to a peak _in a desert environment only_ which became isolated by the upward accretion and merger of alluvial fans and bolsons. Casu Marzu (talk) 23:43, 4 January 2018 (UTC) Casu Marzu (talk) 23:43, 4 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Interesting, I have seen a difference being pointed out earlier but only in creationist geomorphology [1]. No such difference is mentioned in the relevant entries of Encyclopedia of Geomorphology (e.g. Piotr Migoń) nor in the work of other "inselberg people" like Karna Lidmar-Bergström or Charles Rowland Twidale. As for "far too many types" I think it is wrong assement, landforms always comes with many variations. I would rather say there are relatively few well defined inselberg types, compare to "volcano" that includes a myriad of subtypes like maars, cinder cones, calderas, stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, etc. Lappspira (talk) 00:06, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There used to be separate articles until they were merged a couple of years ago (see discussion below). Having studied under Twidale some 25 years ago, my recollection of his position is that historically the term "monadnock" was of U.S. origin, and was developed as an element of W.M. Davis' concept of cycles of denudation and peneplain development, while the terms "inselberg" and "bornhardt" were created by German geomorphologists working in Africa. In his Analysis of Landforms (1978), Twidale mentions "monadnock" only twice, once in discussing Davis' contribution to the history of of theories of landscape evolution (p404), while on p420 he has" "Possibly because the Sherman Surface was earlier called a peneplain, residual remnants rising from it have been called monadnocks, though again they are so steep-sided that they would be called inselbergs by many workers." In his Australian Landforms: Structure, Process, Time (1993), the index has only 3 entries for "monadnock", while "inselberg" has 23 entries. The term "inselberg" is far more generic and widely used, so I don't support the creation of a separate article for "monadnock". Bahudhara (talk) 02:38, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bahudhara, I agree you. Indeed I suspect the term monadnock has been neglected in more modern literature. I do think if we can source things like those you said then that would make good content in the article by clarifying things. Here is a link to a 1968 text by Twidale [2] explaining his view by then. Lappspira (talk) 03:11, 5 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The word Kopje is not used in Southern Africa. Koppie, yes, but not Kopje. Dutch is not a language spoken in Southern Africa.--Michael (talk) 17:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Whilst I agree that Afrikaans is not the same language as Dutch, you must agree with me that Afrikaans is based on Dutch mainly (I won't go into the historical and linguistic details here). In that sense it is not completely useless from an etymological viewpoint to mention the word kopje.-- Joekiedoe (talk) 06:37, 18 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On the reasons for moving this article to inselberg[edit]

This article is about a geomorpholgical feature. Monadnock and inselberg are synonyms. It is the geomorphological and geological literature that is relevant when deciding the name of the article. Becuase I see some older inactive discussions in the this talk page about the name I will explain my rationale for renaming the article inselberg here.

  • Scholarly Google hits: If we check Google Scholar for hits (Google n-gram yields to few hits) inselberg yields as of 2015 about 10,500 [3] while monadnock yields 7,000. The gap is larger when we take into consideration modern post-1990 literature. There we have 8,500 scholarly hits for inselberg and 4,000 hits for monadnock. A simmilar relation exist for post 2000 articles. That is near the twice amount. If we check for the geographical distribution of the terms "monadnock" is clearly more restricted to specific region (North America) than inselberg. Uluru/Ayers Rock is referred many times more as an inselberg than a monadnock, just to take an example. Thus inselberg is both a more international term and more used.
  • Authoritative international literature: In the extensive international work Encyclopedia of Geomorphology (2004), that is edited by Andrew Goudie and host the collaborations of numerous leading geomorphologists, the entry name is "inselberg". The author of the entry in question is Piotr Migoń, and over-all when searching the other entries of the pdf-version of the encyclopedia inselberg occur more times than monadnock. Note that in a work like an encyclopedia the entry names are well thought as to have a top-level terminology and avoid duplication (monadnock entry do not exist in Encyclopedia of Geomorphology).

--Lappspira (talk) 13:45, 12 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 12 September 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. The consensus is that the proposed title is more common in modern sources and that ENGVAR does not apply in this case, though it should be noted it can apply to titles. Note that a history swap also had to be performed in order to preserve some attribution history. Jenks24 (talk) 16:52, 28 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MonadnockInselberg – per the most common and geographically most distributed use in relevant scientific literature. Lappspira (talk) 13:53, 12 September 2015 (UTC) Relisted. Jenks24 (talk) 12:42, 20 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Comment this appears to be a WP:ENGVAR issue, since the nominator states differences between English dialects, thus wP:RETAIN says we use the earliest existing version. Then Monadnock has primacy over Inselberg -- (talk) 07:13, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • 'Comment. The policy the IP cites is not a naming convention; it is about English variety. Im glad this is not a democracy because the reasons the IP cites are invalid. The article title should reflect scholarly usage. Inselberg is both more common and more neutral/international than monanock. Lappspira (talk) 17:21, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • IT DOES concern article titles and article content, per Talk:Yogurt where the article title was settled via RETAIN and ENGVAR. You cannot write the article in one dialect and have the article title at another dialect, which does not match the word used in the text of the article, and have that make sense. The article title should conform with the spelling used in the article. Since the spelling in the article is the purview of RETAIN and ENGVAR, the article title would then necessarily follow it. -- (talk) 05:18, 16 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  •, this is about scientific usage not English varieties. What they said in the article yogurt is irrelevant here. Lappspira (talk) 16:46, 16 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Although I'm more used to monadnock, I would say go with the more common term in the professional lit - and that would appear to be inselberg. Vsmith (talk) 18:29, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I found similar results to Lappspira, particularly in the more recent literature (I linked both words with 'topography' to remove results from the many academic authors called 'inselberg' and to reduce the entries referring to Mt Monadnock) - in conclusion I support this move. Mikenorton (talk) 18:48, 15 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Longman's Illustrated Dictionary of Geology (1982) has "monadnock - a residual hill or mountain standing by itself above a peneplain" and "inselberg - an 'island mountain'. A residual hill or mountain with steep sides and a round top that stands by itself in a plain. A type of monadnock". DuncanHill (talk) 16:52, 16 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Morphology and Landscape (Robinson, 1977) uses inselberg (plural inselberge), but does note that it was first used to describe "monadnock-like hills". DuncanHill (talk) 16:58, 16 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: caution is needed when refering to older geomorphological literature. Many terms are disputed and used variously, see for example peneplain. To do an own historical usage analysis is extremely complex. We need to stay with what most modern geomorphologist and geologists use, and what the modern most authoritative works says. Lappspira (talk) 17:03, 16 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: As these landforms occur worldwide, I favour using the more-widely used term, inselberg. Currently, the description of this landform is in the Monadnock article. Inselberg currently redirects to Monadnock. (Unless evidence were to be found that proved inselbergs are a subset of monadnocks), I support moving appropriate text from the Monadnock article to the Inselberg article and reversing the current redirect so that Monadnock will redirect to Inselberg. GeoWriter (talk) 18:26, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Inselberg/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Almost B class but the second paragraph under Geology (i.e. "Twidale C.R. 1981 Granite Inselbergs") needs to be rewritten for better coherency. RedWolf (talk) 16:13, 16 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Last edited at 16:53, 28 September 2015 (UTC). Substituted at 18:57, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Monadnock Etymology: "Single Point"[edit]

I am surprised in the etymology section of monadnock it does not point out that "monad" is defined as "a single unit, the number one" and the origin of "nock" is Late Middle English, possibly from Middle Dutch "nocke" meaning "point or tip." Therefore the word "monadnock" could be translated as "single point," which sounds a lot like "an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain." Mseanbrown (talk) 07:21, 28 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sounds convincing, but we'd need a good source for the etymology. Otherwise we'd be in violation of WP:OR... Any chance you know of one? DanHobley (talk) 12:49, 28 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The term comes from the Abenaki word menonadenak or menonadenek, meaning "smooth mountain" or "isolated mountain".[1] The presence of "monad" in the English spelling is coincidental. --Ken Gallager (talk) 18:38, 11 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ "Vermont Soils with Names of American Indian Origin". Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved March 20, 2009.

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Huerfano Butte[edit]

Would Huerfano Butte count?--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 06:48, 24 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems to fit the term perfectly. Tomdo08 (talk) 00:24, 13 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section Geology needs cleanup[edit]

Section Geology mentions volcanic and sedimentary composition, it also mentions nearby plateaus. To my knowledge sedimentary inselbergs may relate to plateaus in the vicinity, volcanic inselbergs do not. Should this be wrong, the relation between volcanic inselbergs and plateaus would need to be described explicitly. I assume this is just bad writing, but I don't know for sure. Tomdo08 (talk) 00:22, 13 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]