Meaning of Plateau

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Plateau can designate, in geography, an extensive plain located at a certain height above sea level. It can also refer to the landing at which a flight of stairs ends. The word, as such, is a diminutive form of the word desk.

Plateaus are plains or plains that are located at a certain altitude in relation to sea level. Usually above 500 meters above sea level.

Plateaus can be generated mainly by three causes: by tectonic forces, by erosion or by the emergence of a submarine plateau.

Tectonic forces can produce the uplift of a series of strata that remain horizontal with respect to their surroundings.

In erosion, external agents, such as rainwater and rivers, are responsible for eroding the surface, forming the plain over time.

The emergence of an underwater plateau, on the other hand, can occur as a consequence of the lifting of a volcanic table previously formed on the seabed. However, they can also be plateaus generated by tectonic forces and erosion.

Some of the most important plateaus in the world are the Tibetan Plateau, located in Asia; the Andean highlands, in South America; the plateau of Anahuac and the Central Table, in Mexico, the puna of Atacama, in Chile; the Central Plateau, in Spain; or the Cundiboyacense plateau, in Colombia, among others.

There are also other relief features that produce smaller plateaus. Depending on the region, they are given a particular name. Thus, there are buttes in North America, plated in Brazil and the tepuis in Venezuela.

See more about Relief.

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