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roof world plateau

Plateau

[pla-toh or, especially Brit., plat-oh]

In geology and earth science, a plateau, also called a high plateau or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain. A highly eroded plateau is called a dissected plateau. A volcanic plateau is a plateau produced by volcanic activity.

The largest and highest plateau in the world is the Tibetan Plateau, called the "roof of the world", which is still being formed by the collisions of the Indo-Australian and Eurasian tectonic plates. In all the Tibetan plateau covers an area of some 2.5 million square kilometres which is approximately 5000 m above sea level. The height of this plateau is such that it is enough to reverse the Hadley convection cycles and drive the monsoons of India to the south.

Oceanic plateaus

Plateau is also used to describe undersea geologic formations. Some undersea plateaus, like the Seychelles plateau, are fragments of continental crust that lie separate from continents; they are analogous to continental shelves. Others, like the Ontong Java Plateau are large igneous provinces made of flood basalts.

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