Northern Hemisphere summers may last nearly half the year by 2100

Without efforts to mitigate climate change, summers spanning nearly six months may become the new normal by 2100 in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a new study. The change would likely have far-reaching impacts on agriculture, ...

Astronomers find coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth

The search for the best observatory site in the world has lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth. No human is thought to have ever been there but it is expected to yield ...

15,000-year-old viruses found in Tibetan glacier

A team of researchers from The Ohio State University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found a host of ancient virus groups in ice cores taken from a Tibetan glacier. They have written a paper about their discovery ...

World's largest 'lava lamp bubble' under NZ

Seismic wave-speeds have revealed part of an ancient volcanic "superplume" beneath New Zealand, highlighting connections between the Earth's deep interior and the surface we live on.

Unaweep Canyon and Earth's deep-time past

Unaweep Canyon is a puzzling landscape—the only canyon on Earth with two mouths. First formally documented by western explorers mapping the Colorado Territory in the 1800s, Unaweep Canyon has inspired numerous hypotheses ...

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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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