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Why is the stress on the rocks at the bottom of a mountain due to the weight of the mountain shear stress and not compressional or longitudinal stress?

If we try to understand why a mountain cannot grow taller than 10km on Earth, the explanation is that the shear stress on the rocks at the base of the mountain for a mountain that is taller than 10km is greater than the elastic limit of rocks. But why is this shear stress and not longitudinal stress?

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It is always possible to resolve the state of stress into the principal components, in which there is no shear stress normal to the principal directions. However, in practice, the criterion for rock failure nearly always is expressed in terms of the maximum allowable shear stress on all possible orientations of area elements (e.g., von Misces). It is also possible to express the failure criterion in terms of the principal stresses, but this is rarely used.

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