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).
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.