To be able to consider a plateau as such, it must have a height greater than 400 or 500 meters above sea level.
There are two types of plateaus:
- The continental plateaus. These are visible since they are in continental territory
- The submarine plateaus or oceanic plateau . These others, on the contrary, it is not possible to see them since they are submerged.
There are different ways that plateaus are formed:
- By tectonic forces . In this case, the plateaus are formed by the force or pressure exerted as a result of the movements of the tectonic plates.
- Erosion of surrounding areas . Here, the formation of the plateaus is produced by the erosion of rivers or seas (or sometimes the action of the wind) that surround the plateaus, thus producing a depression around them and generating the formation of the plateaus.
- Emergence by the action of volcanoes . In these cases, plateaus arise when an underwater plateau emerges . However, a plateau that emerges from the water may be the result of the movement of underwater tectonic plates or it may also have been formed by previous erosion before sinking.
Characteristics of a plateau
The top of a plateau is never shaped like a peak or point, but rather has a flat or flat area. From there it derives its name: plateau since it is similar to a “table”. In addition, a plateau is surrounded by lower ground than that. Finally, it is not possible to determine the size of a plateau as some have a smaller area and others have an extremely large area.
15 Examples of plateaus
- The Tibet Plateau, located north of the Himalayas
- The Andean Altiplano, east of the mountain range
- The Puna de Atacama, between Argentina and Chile
- Central Plateau in Spain
- Rocco Plateau or rocky plateau located in Australia
- The altiplano cundiboyacence in Colombia
- Patagonian plateau in Argentina
- The missionary plateau in the Brasilia Massif.
- Plateau of Payunia in Mendoza province, Argentina
- Campbell Plateau is located in the South Pacific Ocean (it is an oceanic or underwater plateau)
- Marcahuasi is a plateau located in the Andes mountain range, east of Lima, Peru.
The igneous oceanic plateaus have a proportion of a continental plateau and a submarine one. Some of these are:
- Agulhas Plateau which is located in the Southwest Indian Ocean
- The Colombian Caribbean Plateau found in the Caribbean
- Mascarene Plateau, Kerguelen Plateau and Naturaliste Plateau in the Indian Ocean
- The Yermak Plateau located in the Arctic