Plateau


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plateau,

elevated, level or nearly level portion of the earth's surface, larger in summit area than a mountainmountain,
high land mass projecting conspicuously above its surroundings and usually of limited width at its summit. Although isolated mountains are not unusual, mountains commonly form ranges, comprising either a single complex ridge or a series of related ridges.
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 and bounded on at least one side by steep slopes, occurring on land or in oceans. Some plateaus, such as the Deccan of India and the Columbia Plateau of the NW United States, are basaltic and were formed as the result of a succession of lava flows covering hundreds of thousands of square miles that built up the land surface. Others are the result of upward folding; still others have been left elevated by the erosion of adjacent lands. Plateaus, like all elevated regions, are subject to dissection by erosion, which removes greater amounts of the upland surface. Low plateaus are often agricultural regions, while high plateaus are usually fit chiefly for stock grazing. Many of the world's high plateaus are deserts. Other notable plateaus are the Colorado Plateau of the W United States, the Bolivian plateau in South America, and the plateaus of Anatolia, Arabia, Iran, and the Tibet region of China.

Plateau

 

an elevated plain with an even or undulating, slightly dissected surface and separated by clearly distinguishable scarps from the adjacent country. The following are distinguished: (1) structural plateaus, which are composed of horizontally bedded rock strata; (2) volcanic, or lava, plateaus, in which the irregularities of the former relief have been capped with lava; (3) denudation plateaus, which are uplifted denudation plains, such as peneplains and abrasion plains; and (4) mountainous plateaus, which are intermontane depressions filled with the weathering products of the surrounding mountain ranges.


Plateau

 

a US scientific station in Eastern Antarctica, located in the interior of the continent, in the western part of the Sovetskoe Plateau. The station is on the surface of an ice sheet, 3,624 m above sea level, and 1,000 km from Kosmonavtov Sea. Plateau Station was in operation from February 1966 through January 1969. It conducted aerometeorological, glaciological, and geophysical observations and served as a base for field research in the adjacent regions.

plateau

[pla′tō]
(electronics)
The portion of the plateau characteristic of a counter tube in which the counting rate is substantially independent of the applied voltage.
(geography)
An extensive, flat-surfaced upland region, usually more than 45-90 meters (150-300 feet) in elevation and considerably elevated above the adjacent country and limited by an abrupt descent on at least one side.
(geology)
A broad, comparatively flat and poorly defined elevation of the sea floor, commonly over 60 meters (200 feet) in elevation.

plateau

a wide mainly level area of elevated land

Plateau

a state of central Nigeria, formed in 1976 from part of Benue-Plateau State: tin mining. Capital: Jos. Pop. (including Nassarawa state): 3 671 498 (1995 est.). Area (including Nassarawa state): 58 030 sq. km (22 405 sq. miles)
References in classic literature ?
It was fine open walking here, upon the summit; our way lay a little downhill, for, as I have said, the plateau tilted towards the west.
I had forged ahead for perhaps a mile or more without hearing further sounds, when the trail suddenly debouched onto a small, open plateau near the summit of the pass.
This is a great lake of salt water, laving the feet of the mountains, but extending far to the west-southwest, into one of those vast and elevated plateaus of land, which range high above the level of the Pacific.
Purple hills hemmed in a broad, green, undulating plateau, scored across and across by the stone walls of the north, and all dappled with the shadows of rolling leaden clouds with silver fringes.
It is a grand, irregular plateau, and looks as if it might have been created for a battle-field.
The next day the wind came from the south, and the balloon moved slowly over a vast plateau of mountains: there, were extinct craters; here, barren ravines; not a drop of water on those parched crests; piles of broken rocks; huge stony masses scattered hither and thither, and, interspersed with whitish marl, all indicated the most complete sterility.
We reached them, and to our surprise, so far as we had a capacity for surprise left in us, on a little plateau or ridge close by we saw that the clinker was covered with a dense green growth.
He preceded Grimaud, whose still steady hands carried the plateau with one glass and a bottle of the duke's favorite wine.
It is a pretty little spot there: a pleasant grass plateau, running along by the water's edge, and overhung by willows.
Presently we found a rift in the cliff which had been widened and extended by the action of the water draining through it from the plateau above.
I must have slid downward thousands of feet before the steep incline curved gently on to a broad, smooth, snow-covered plateau.
And so it was that he continued on toward the west, and crossing a range of low mountains came in sight of a broad plateau, rock strewn and desolate.