difference between mountain and plateau

Difference between Mountain and Plateau

When it comes to topographical features, mountain and plateau are the two most commonly used terms. Although both of them are elevated landforms, they differ in many ways. In this article, we will take a closer look at what sets a mountain apart from a plateau.

Definition of Mountain

A mountain is an elevated landform that is higher than its surroundings. It is characterized by its steep slopes and pointed peak. These raised structures are formed due to natural processes such as tectonic movement, volcanic eruptions, and erosion. Mountains are usually found in clusters, forming mountain ranges.

Definition of Plateau

A plateau, on the other hand, is elevated flatland with a relatively flat top surface. It is usually surrounded by steep slopes or cliffs. Plateaus are usually formed due to volcanic activity, tectonic uplift, or erosion. They can be found at a higher altitude than the surrounding landforms and can be extensive in land area.

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Differences between Mountain and Plateau

The following are some of the main differences between mountains and plateaus:

-Shape: Mountains have a pointed peak and steep slopes, while plateaus have a relatively flat top surface.

-Height: Mountains are usually higher than plateaus. A mountain can range from a few thousand feet to several thousand feet high, while a plateau can range from a few hundred feet to a few thousand feet high.

-Formation: Mountains are formed due to tectonic movement, volcanic eruptions, and erosion, while plateaus are formed due to volcanic activity, tectonic uplift, or erosion.

-Location: Mountains are usually found in clusters, forming mountain ranges, while plateaus can be found in any part of the world.

-Weather conditions: Mountains usually experience colder temperatures at higher altitudes, while plateaus can experience all kinds of weather conditions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, both mountains and plateaus are elevated landforms, but they differ in many ways. Mountains have steep slopes and pointed peaks, while plateaus have a flat top surface. Mountains are usually higher than plateaus, and they are formed due to tectonic movement, volcanic eruptions, and erosion. Plateaus, on the other hand, are formed due to volcanic activity, tectonic uplift, or erosion. By understanding the difference between these two landforms, we can appreciate the beauty and diversity of the earth’s topography.

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Table difference between mountain and plateau

Mountain Plateau
Definition A landform that rises steeply above the surrounding area with a peak or summit A high plain or tableland with a flat top and steep sides
Height Taller than plateaus, usually over 1,000 meters Lower than mountains, usually with height less than 1,000 meters
Formation Formed by tectonic forces, volcanic activity or erosion Formed by volcanic activity, erosion, or uplift
Climate Cooler and wetter climate due to elevation Varies depending on location, can be hot and dry or cool and moist
Vegetation Vegetation varies depending on elevation, usually has forests on lower slopes Vegetation varies depending on location, can have grasslands or forests