What are the Major Types of Plateaus?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Types of Plateaus are Intermontane Plateaus, Continental Plateaus, and Piedmont Platforms. A plateau is an elevated section of relatively flat land, usually bounded on at least one side by a steep slope dropping abruptly to a lowland. The Tibetan Plateau, which occurs as an intermontane plateau, may also be bordered in some places by steep slopes rising to remaining mountains or mountain ranges.

Types of Plateaus

The term is also used to describe a tectonic plate like the Mesetain Spain or a structural surface. It can be challenging to reconstruct the topography of a plateau because it can be plain, incredibly flat, undulating, hilly, or so fragmented by streams and glaciers. Plateaus can be grouped into several categories according to their location and rock composition.

Intermontane Plateaus

  • Intermontane plateaus border a folded mountain range or are entirely contained by it.
  • Example: Folded mountains like the Himalayas, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Tien Shah encircle Tibet on two sides.

Piedmont Plateaus

  • These are plateaus at the foot of mountains, surrounded on all other sides by plains or the ocean.
  • Examples include the Appalachian Plateau in the United States, located between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and the Malwa Plateau in India.

Continental Platforms

  • These are produced by substantial continental uplift or by the considerable spreading of the horizontal basal lava sheets, which entirely engulf the previous terrain.
  • Examples include the Snake River Plateau in the northwest and the volcanic lava-covered plateaus of Maharashtra in India.


What are the Major Types of Plateaus?

Intermontane Plateaus, Piedmont Plateaus, and Continental Platforms are the three main types of plateaus. Based on their location and rock composition, these can be divided into various categories. Each of these possesses different structural characteristics. A few examples are Appalachian Plateau in the United States, Malwa Plateau, and the Snake River Plateau in India.

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