What is a plateau? State different kinds of plateaus along with their features.
An elevated flat piece of land is known as a plateau. It can also be termed as a flat topped table land which stands above the surrounding area. Plateaus may have more than one side with steep slopes. The height of a plateau varies. Some may be only few meters high while others may be thousand meters in height. Plateaus may be young or old.
Different kinds of Plateaus are:
- Intermontane Plateaus : Plateaus that are surrounded by hills and mountains from all sides are called intermontane plateaus. The Tibetian plateau is the highest intermontane plateau in the world. Other examples of such plateaus are the Columbian plateau, Bolivian plateau and the Mexican plateaus.
- Piedmont Plateaus : Plateaus that are surrounded by plains on one side and mountain ranges on the other side are called Piedmont plateaus. The part of the plateau facing the plains usually has a steep slope. The Patagonian Plateau in South Africa and the Appalachian Plateau are some examples of this type of plateau.
- Volcanic Plateaus : Volcanic plateaus have been formed due to volcanic eruptions. The Deccan plateau in India is an example of a volcanic plateau. Some other examples of this kind of plateau are the South African plateau, Ethiopian plateau and the Columbian plateau.
- Uplifted Plateaus : Uplifted or dome shaped plateaus are formed when due to volcanic activity, the middle portion of the landmass get uplifted and its sides get rounded forming a shape like a dome. The Chota Nagpur Plateau in India and the Ozark Plateau in India are examples of dome shaped plateaus.