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, ...

Geologists discover ancient buried canyon in South Tibet

A team of researchers from Caltech and the China Earthquake Administration has discovered an ancient, deep canyon buried along the Yarlung Tsangpo River in south Tibet, north of the eastern end of the Himalayas. The geologists ...

Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation

Tibetans were able to adapt to high altitudes thanks to a gene picked up when their ancestors mated with a species of human they helped push to extinction, according to a new report by University of California, Berkeley, ...

Geologists solve mystery of the Colorado Plateau

( -- A team of scientists led by Rice University has figured out why the Colorado Plateau – a 130,000-square-mile region that straddles Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico -- is rising even while parts ...

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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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