Surprising Plateau Facts That You May Not Have Known Before | Kidadl


Surprising Plateau Facts That You May Not Have Known Before

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

The word 'plateau' is French and means 'flat land.'

Plateaus are large areas of land that are higher than the land around them. They can be found all over the world, including in Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, and Australia.

Did you know that the world's highest plateau is located in Tibet? It's called the Tibetan Plateau, and it's about 16,000 ft (4877 m) above sea level. The Tibetan Plateau is sometimes called the 'Roof of the World.'

Plateaus can be found all over the world, and each one has its unique characteristics and surrounding terrain. The largest plateau in the United States is the Colorado Plateau, which covers an area of about 130,000 sq mi (336,698 sq km).

Most plateaus were formed by lava flows or by erosion from rivers and glaciers. Some plateaus have very harsh conditions, with high temperatures and little rainfall. Others are quite lush and green.

The climate of a plateau depends on its location and elevation. Plateaus are home to many different types of animals, including reptiles, mammals, birds, and amphibians.

Some famous plateaus include the Great Plains of North America, the Deccan Plateau in India, and the Namib Desert in Africa.

History Of Plateaus

You will be interested to know that the Plateau people were some of the first in North America to use horses. They acquired them from Spanish traders in the 1500s and quickly became adept at using them for hunting, warfare, and transportation.

Plateaus are also home to North America's largest desert, the Great Basin Desert. Spanning over 190,000 sq mi (492,097 sq km), this arid region receives very little rainfall each year. Despite its hostile environment, the Great Basin is home to a surprisingly diverse array of plant and animal life.

The Plateau region is located in the Intermountain West, which extends from the Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Nevada. The area is known for its rugged mountain ranges, wide valleys, and arid deserts.

Due to its location and diverse landscape, the Plateau region has a rich history and culture that is unique unto itself.

Types Of Plateaus

Did you know that there are three types of plateaus? Erosional, structural, and fluvial plateaus each have their unique formation process.

Erosional plateaus are caused by the erosion of mountains or other landforms. The wind and water erosion wearing away at the rocks until a plateau is formed.

Structural plateaus form when two plates collide, and the force pushes up the land in between them, creating a plateau.

Fluvial plateaus are created when a river flows across the flat ground and deposits sediment over time, eventually creating a plateau.

Plateau formation can take millions of years as new layers of rock are deposited on top of older ones. Plateaus can also be destroyed by weathering and erosion, which can change their shape or even cause them to disappear entirely.

The Colorado River Plateau, in northern Arizona, is one of the largest and most well-known plateaus in the world. The King Plateau in Tasmania is also quite famous. It's home to some of the tallest mountains on Earth.

There's the Andean Plateau, which is located in South America and is made up of high mountains and volcanoes. Then there's the Polar Plateau, which is located in Antarctica and has a very cold climate. Lastly, there's the Continental Plateau, which is located on land and is usually much higher than the surrounding areas.

Can you guess how long it takes for a plateau to form? Millions of years! And while plateaus can be slowly destroyed by weathering and erosion, they can also change shape or even disappear entirely.

Landscape taken in Tibet plateau,Yarlung Zangbo River

Plateaus Vs. Mountains

One of the most surprising things about plateaus is that they are not always flat. Many plateaus have varied and interesting topography, with mountain ranges, hills, and valleys dotting the landscape. This can make for some stunning scenery, as well as a variety of different habitats for animals and plants to thrive in.

Another surprise about plateaus is that they are not always located at high elevations. Some of the largest and most famous plateau regions in the world are located near sea level or even below it. The Great Plains of North America, for example, are a vast plateau region that stretches from Canada down to Mexico.

Despite their diverse landscapes, plateaus share some common characteristics; they are relatively flat, elevated areas with a steep slope on at least one side. They can be formed by a variety of geological processes, including volcanic activity, erosion, and uplift.

Largest And Smallest Plateaus In The World

The largest plateau in the entire world is the Tibetan Plateau. The smallest plateau in the entire world is the Mauna Kea Plateau, which covers an area of only about 1.5 sq mi (4 sq km).

Did you know that there are plateaus on every continent? That's right, even Antarctica has a few small plateaus. The highest point on the Antarctic Plateau is Mount Jackson.

One of the most interesting things about plateaus is their unique ecology. Due to their isolation from other landforms, many plateaus are home to endemic species, meaning that they can only be found on that particular plateau. For example, the Tibetan Plateau is home to the snow leopard, while the Ethiopian Plateau is home to the Ethiopian wolf.


How many plateaus are there in the world?

There are an estimated 188,000 plateaus in the world. Plateaus can be found on every continent and range in size from small hillocks to vast expanses that cover thousands of square miles. While many people think of plateaus as being featureless, they often have their unique ecosystems and geological features. Some of the most notable plateau regions include the Tibetan Plateau, the Brazilian Highlands, and the American Great Plains. Plateaus are also home to some of the world's tallest mountains, including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus.


What is a lava plateau?

A lava plateau, or a volcanic plateau, is a type of plateau that is formed when lava flows from a volcano and spreads out over a wide area. The lava cools and hardens, forming a flat surface that can be hundreds of meters thick. Lava plateaus are rare features, and only a few dozen have been identified on the Earth's surface. The most famous of the volcanic plateaus is the Columbia Plateau in the northwestern United States. This plateau was created by several large eruptions of basaltic magma over the past 16 million years. Today, the Columbia Plateau covers an area of more than 40,000 sq mi (100,000 sq km).


What is the difference between plains and plateaus?

Plains are flat, while plateaus are higher in elevation and have more of a gradual incline. Plateaus can be formed by either erosional or constructive processes. Plateaus are higher than plains, have more defined edges, and are generally made of harder rock. Plateaus can also form when lava cools and hardens. Plains, on the other hand, are lower than plateaus, have less defined edges, and are typically made of softer material like sediment.


How did it get its name?

The name 'plateau' comes from the French word 'plat,' meaning flat. This describes the most common feature of plateaus; their relatively level surface. However, this does not mean that all plateaus are created equal. There is a great deal of variety in terms of climate, elevation, and even plant life among different plateaus around the world.


Is a valley a plateau?

A plateau, in simple terms, can be defined as an area of high ground. It is usually a raised or flat-topped landform that is significantly higher than the surrounding areas. Valleys, on the other hand, are low-lying areas that are typically formed by river and streams erosion over time. So while they may share some similarities, both being relatively elevated regions compared to their surroundings, there are key differences between them too.

Written By
Shagun Dhanuka

<p>With a Degree in Business Administration, Shagun is an avid writer with a passion for food, fashion, and travel, which she explores on her blog. Her love of literature has led her to become a member of a literary society, where she contributes to promoting literary festivals in her role as head of marketing for her college. Shagun also pursues learning the Spanish language in her free time.</p>

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