Satellite image of the Tibetan Plateau between the Himalyan mountains to the south and the Taklamakan Desert to the north

In geology and physical geography, a plateau (/pləˈt, plæˈt, ˈplæt/; French: [plato]; PL: plateaus or plateaux),[1][2] also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland consisting of flat terrain that is raised sharply above the surrounding area on at least one side.[3] Often one or more sides have deep hills or escarpments.[4] Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, piedmont, or continental. A few plateaus may have a small flat top while others have wider ones.

  1. ^ "plateau". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  2. ^ "plateau". Cambridge English Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  3. ^ Huggett 2011, p. 99, Plate Tectonics and Associated Structural Landforms.
  4. ^ Huggett 2011, p. 124, Volcanoes, Impact Craters, Folds, and Faults.

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