Feeling heat on the roof of the world

The Tibetan Plateau, also known as the "roof of the world," is getting hotter. This process is especially fast in places marked by retreating snow, according to new research by scientists from the University of Portsmouth ...

First hominins on the Tibetan Plateau were Denisovans

So far, Denisovans were only known from a small collection of fossil fragments from Denisova Cave in Siberia. A research team now describes a 160,000-year-old hominin mandible from Xiahe in China. Using ancient protein analysis, ...

Tibetan plateau rose later than we thought

The Tibetan Plateau today is on average 4,500 meters above sea level. It is the biggest mountain-building zone on Earth. Most analyses to date indicated that, back in the Eocene period some 40 million years ago, the plateau ...

Prehistoric food globalization spanned three millennia

Since the beginning of archaeology, researchers have combed the globe searching for evidence of the first domesticated crops. Painstakingly extracting charred bits of barley, wheat, millet and rice from the remains of ancient ...

Climate change leading to water shortage in Andes, Himalayas

Climate change could have devastating effects on vulnerable residents in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau, according to researchers at The Ohio State University who have been studying glaciers in those areas for ...

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Plateau

In geology and earth science, a plateau ( /pləˈtoʊ/ or /ˈplætoʊ/; plural plateaus or rarely plateaux), also called a high plain 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.

Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including, upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Magma rises from the mantle causing the ground to swell upward, in this way large, flat areas of rock are uplifted. Plateaus can also be built up by lava spreading outwards from cracks and weak areas in the crust, an example of such a plateau is the Columbia Plateau in the northwestern United States of America. Plateaus can also be formed due to the erosional processes of glaciers on mountain ranges, in this case the plateaus are left sitting between the mountain ranges. Water can also erode mountains and other landforms down into plateaus.

Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment, common categories are: intermontane, piedmont, and continental plateaus.

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