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a plateau in the southeastern part of Australia, the highest section of the Great Dividing Range.
The plateau is about 400 km long, up to 150 km wide, and 1,700–2,000 m high—the highest peak is Mount Kosciusko, 2,230 m, which is also the highest mountain of the continent. The plateau is a high-altitude horst massif broken up into individual mountain ranges, including the Gourock, Monaro, Munyang, and Barry. The plateau is composed of Paleozoic quartzites, shales, and limestones, permeated with granite intrusions. There are traces of Quaternary glaciations in some areas. The Murray, the main river of Australia, takes its course in the northwestern slopes of the Australian alps. Dense forests of eucalyptus and arborescent ferns grow up to an altitude of 1,200–1,300 m; above that grow crook-stem forests, underbrush, mountain meadows, and meadow marshes.
L. R. SEREBRIANNYI