What Is the Difference Between a Butte and a Mesa?

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The difference between a butte and a mesa is in their heights and size of the flat tops. A butte and a mesa are both geological landscape formations. Due to the forces of erosion, a mesa eventually gets reduced to a butte.

A butte is smaller and less flat at the top compared to a butte. Both, a butte and a mesa have steep sides. Sometimes, a butte may have a pointed top, but the sides are almost always vertical. A mesa is a medium-sized hill with a large flat top. It is a medium-sized plateau.

Buttes, mesas and plateaus are found in Monument Valley, Utah. The red sandstone cliffs, buttes and mesas have been featured in many western films.