• Plateau is an elevated tract of relatively flat land, usually limited on at least one side by a steep slope falling abruptly to lower land. 
  • This second order relief feature covers about 33 per cent of the land surface of the globe.

Types of Plateaus Based on Mode of Origin 

  • Plateaus Formed by Exogenetic Processes: 
    (a) Glacial Plateaus: Garhwal Plateau, Plateau of Greenland are formed by erosion, whereas, Plateaux formed by deposition are the Russian Plateau, Marg of Kashmir. 
    (b) Fluvial Plateaus: Bhander Plateau of central India, Brazilian plateau 
    (c) Aeolian Platen: Loess Plateau of China, Potwar Plateau of Pakistan 
  • Tectonic Plateaus 
    (a) Intermontane Plateaus: Tibetan Plateau is the largest and highest plateau situated between Mt Kunlun in the north and Himalayas in the South. Bolivian Plateau in the Andes mountain range, Mexi-can plateau between the eastern and western Sierra Madre mountain range, are other examples. 
    (b) Piedmont Plateaus: Plateau formed at the foothill zone of extensive mountains c.g. Piedmont plateau at the eastern margin of Appala-chian mountain range and Patagonian Plateau in the east of Andes. 
    (c) Dome Plateaus: Ozark Plateau of USA, Chhotanagpur Plateau of Jharkhand. 
    (d) Lava Plateaus: Deccan Plateau, Columbia Plateau (USA).

Types of Plateaus According To Geographical Location 

  • Intermontane Plateaus: Tibetan Plateau, Mexican Plateau, Iranian Plateau (between Zagros and Elburz), Anatolian Plateau (between Pon-tic and Taurus). 
  • Border Plateaus: Piedmont Plateau (USA), Patagonian Plateau (Argen-tina) 
  • Continental Plateaus: Arabian Plateau, Peninsular Indian Plateau, Australian Plateau, South African Plateau, Mexican Plateau, etc. 
  • Coastal Plateaus: Coromandel coastal upland of India. 

Types of Plateaus Based on Stages of Erosion 

  • Young Plateau: Colorado Plateaus (USA), Idaho Plateaus (USA), Khandala upland (India), etc. In these Plateaus rivers form deep and nar-row valleys through vertical erosion. 
  • Mature Plateaus: Ranchi Plateau, Appalachian plateau 
  • Old Plateaus: Agents of denudation erode it to their base level and the plateau appears as a featureless plain, except for some Monadnocks which are steep-sided resistant rocks surviving the onslaught of erosion. Precise examples are difficult to find.