What is Plateau: Definition, Formation, Types & Facts

A plateau is the raised land with a flat top and steep slope on at least one side. Plateau can is formed by the erosion of surrounding areas by rivers, flooding, and glacier activity. An uplift of land can occur from the pressure of a large magma chamber layers of rock. It is called a high plain or tablelands, it is an area of high land. Plateau is very common landforms it is usually in every part of the world. The major difference between plateau and mountain is that plateau is flat at the top.

How is plateau formed?

How is plateau formed

Plateaus can be formed by the erosion of the surrounding areas by rivers, flooding, and glacier. Repeated lava flows can also form a plateau over a period of time. Plateau is formed when the magma pushes up towards the surface of the earth’s crust. There are many ways in which plateaus can develop. The magma does not break through but instead raises a section of the crust up as it raises and creates a plateau. It is also formed by the effects of that millions of years of wind and water erosion can have on land areas. Water that flows in specific pattern layers the rock at time and sculptures the channels that will continuously dig deeper. As the water digs its way down, steep slopes are created and that forms the edges of the plateau. Plateaus are very useful because they are rich in mineral deposits. As a result, many of the mining areas in the world are located in the plateau areas.

Types of the plateau:

Types of the plateau

  1. Volcanic plateau:

Volcanic plateau

  • It is formed by many small volcanic eruptions which slowly build up by time which forms plateau resulting in lava flows. Example- Deccan traps.
  1. Tibetan plateau:

Tibetan plateau

  • It is called the roof of the world because it is the highest and largest plateau in the world.
  • It is formed due to the collision of the Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates.
  • The Himalayan range of the south mountain is surrounded by it.
  1. Columbia –snake plateau:

Columbia –snake plateau

  • It is formed by the volcanic eruptions with a related coating of basalt lava.
  • It meets the river Columbia and its tributary snake meets in this plateau.
  1. Deccan plateau:

Deccan plateau

  • It is the plateau which forms the southern part of India and is the largest plateau.
  • The Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats are bordered by Deccan plateau.
  • This is also known for containing some unique fossils.
  1. Katanga plateau:

Katanga plateau

  • Katanga plateau is famous for copper production.
  • This lies in Congo.
  • Minerals found here is zinc, silver, gold, and cobalt are mined here.

Facts about plateau:

Facts about plateau

  • Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes like upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers.
  • Plateaus can also be built up lava spreading outward from cracks and weak areas in the crust.
  • Plateaus can also be formed by the erosional processes of glaciers on mountain ranges, leaving them sitting between the mountain ranges.
  • Piedmont plateaus are bordered on one side by mountains and on the other by plain or sea.

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