Definition, types of plateau, importance and notable examples
A plateau is an area of highland usually consisting relatively flat terrain. It is also called a tableland or high plain. Some types of plateau include dissected plateau and volcanic plateau. The former is formed by erosion processes of glaciers on mountain ranges and the latter by volcanic activities.
The largest and highest plateau in the world is the Tibetan Plateau.
The second-largest current plateau in the world is the Antarctic Plateau.
The third-largest plateau in the world is the Andean Plateau in South America.
Here are 14 notable examples of plateau from around the world.
1.) Kukenan Tepui – Venezuela
Kukenan Tepuy is a fine example and remarkable plateau in the Gran Sabana National Park, Venezuela. This landform has a height of 2,680 meters.
It is also known as Matawi Tepui and is the source of the Kukenán River. It is considered the "place of the dead" by the local Pemon Indians. It is located next to Mount Roraima in Venezuela.
2.) Island in the Sky – USA
The beautiful Island in the Sky is a very fine example of plateau. It is part of the popular Canyonland’s National Park in Utah, United States.
3.) Bogota Plateau – Colombia
The city of Bogota, the capital of Colombia, is situated in a high plateau which is more than 2,600 meters high above sea level.
4.) Columbia Plateau – USA
This plateau was built up by lava that spread outwards from cracks and weak areas in the crust. It is located in the northwestern part of the United States.
5.) Monte Roraima – South America
Mount Roraima is a notable plateau in South America. It is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of tepui plateau in the continent. Its 31 km2 summit area is defended by 400-meter-tall cliffs on all sides. The mountain includes the triple border point ofBrazil, Guyana and Venezuela. The tabletop mountains of the park are considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth. It is also known as Roraima Tepui or Cerro Roraima.
6.) Altiplano Plateau – South America
The Altiplano is a plateau in west-central South America. The name is Spanish for high plain. It is where the Andes are at their widest where the most extensive area of high plateau on Earth can be found outside of Tibet. Lake Titicaca is the plateau’s best known geographical feature.
7.) Tibetan Plateau – Tibet
Tibetan Plateau is the largest and highest plateau in the world and is called the “roof of the world”. It has an area of 2.5 million km² and is located about 5,000 meters above sea level.
8.) Antarctic Plateau – Antarctica
The Antarctic Plateau is a large area of Central Antarctica, which extends over a diameter of about 1,000 kilometres and which includes the region of the South Pole. This plateau is at an average elevation of about 3,000 meters. It is sometimes referred to as the Polar Plateau.
9.) Colorado Plateau – USA
The Colorado Plateau is the largest plateau in the North American continent. It covers an area of about 337,000 km² and is located in the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. It is also called the Colorado Plateau Province.
10.) Table Mountain – South Africa
One of the most popular tourist spots in South Africa is the Table Mountain, a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town. This significant tourist attraction used cableway to get to the top. Hiking is another alternative to get to the top.
11.) Auyantepui – Venezuela
Auyantepui, which means “Devil’s Mountain”, is a popular table-top mountain in Venezuela. It is one of the largest tepuis with an area of 700 km² and Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, drops from a cleft near the summit. Auyantepui is a giant among the large plateaus. It encompasses 650 km² and its peak is 2,535 meters high.
12.) Table Mountains – California
The Table Mountains is consists of the North Table Mountain and South Table Mountain, two plateaus located outside the city of Oroville, California. They are named for their flat surface, like a table top.
13.) Table Mountains – Poland
The Table Mountains are a 42 km long mountain range located in the Czech Republic and Poland. This plateau, which is shared by two countries, is a popular tourist attraction.
14.) Cerro Negro – Argentina
Cerro Negro is a notable plateau in South America. It is one of a few mesas located near Zapala, Argentina. Zapala is near the Laguna Blanca National Park.
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