India's Peninsular Plateaus & Famous Plateaus of the World

India’s Peninsular Plateaus are one of its major physical features. These plateaus are one of the ancient landmasses on the surface of the earth. Similar to Peninsular Plateaus of India, there are other famous plateaus in the world. For the preparation of the IAS Exam, this article will brief you about:

  • What are plateaus?
  • What are the types of plateaus?
  • What causes a plateau?
  • World Famous Plateaus
  • Important Facts about Indian Peninsular Plateaus

The physical features of India are important to be read about for the preparation of civil services examination. Aspirants can check the other geography-related articles that can complement your preparation:

Geography Questions for UPSC Mains Major Indian River Systems
Types of Soils in India Natural Vegetation in India
Mangroves  Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats

What is a Plateau?

Plateau is an area of raised land that is flat on top. Plateaus are often by themselves with no surrounding plateau. National Geographic describes plateaus as flat and elevated landform that rises sharply above the surrounding area on at least one side. Usually, plateaus are formed when magma which is located deep inside the earth, pushes towards the surface but fails to break through the crust. As a result, these magma ends up lifting large, impenetrable rock above it. These plateaus are formed over millions of years.

What are the types of Plateaus?

The types of plateaus are mentioned below:

Types of Plateaus - Dissected Plateau

Dissected Plateau

Types of Plateaus - Volcanic Plateau

Volcanic Plateau

  1. Dissected plateau – An upward movement in the earth’s crust forms dissected plateaus. The cause behind the upward movement is the slow collision of the tectonic plates. An example of the dissected plateau is the stable Colorado Plateau or Colorado Plateau Province which is covered with dry grasslands, mountain woodlands, and forests.
  2. Volcanic Plateau – As the name suggests, the volcanic plateau is the one which is formed by the small volcanic eruptions. The lava flow of these eruptions slowly builds up over time and a plateau hence formed is called a volcanic plateau. An example of such a plateau is North Island Volcanic Plateau or the Waimarino Plateau in New Zealand. Three active peaks of Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, and Mount Ruapehu Volcanic Plateau.

Where are Plateaus Located?

Plateaus can be found in the following areas.

  1. Mountainous regions
  2. Desert regions
  3. Under the oceans

Causes of Plateau Formation

The causes of the formation of the plateaus are:

  1. Thermal Expansion – Examples of the plateaus formed by the thermal expansion of lithosphere are:
    • Yellowstone Plateau in the United States
    • The Massif Central in France, and
    • Ethiopian Plateau in Africa
  2. Crustal Shortening – Examples of the plateaus formed by thrusting of one block of crust over another or sliding of one block of crust over another, are:
    • Plateaus found in North Africa, Turkey, Iran, Tibet.
  3. Volcanism – Examples of the plateaus formed by the flood basalts are:
    • India’s Peninsular Plateau
    • The USA’s Columbia Plateau
    • Canadian Shield

Which are some of the Famous Plateaus?

Some of the famous plateaus across the globe are given below.

  1. Deccan Plateau (India) – It extends over 8 Indian states, covering entire South India. 3 Mountain ranges border it.
  2. Chotanagpur Plateau (India) – It has huge reserves of iron, coal, and manganese.
  3. Tibetan Plateau (China) – It is the highest and biggest plateau on earth.
  4. Katanga Plateau (Congo) – Famous for copper mines
  5. East African Plateau – Famous for Gold and Diamond mining

Indian Peninsular Plateau

The Peninsular plateau is a tableland composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks. It has its formation associated with the breaking of Gondwana land. The prominent features of Indian Peninsular Plateau:

  1.  Broad and shallow valleys and rounded hills
  2. Central Highlands of India and Deccan Plateau are the two main divisions of the Indian Peninsular Plateau
  3. The Deccan Plateau has western ghats and eastern ghats of India.
  4. Deccan Trap is a part of the peninsular plateau. This part is of volcanic nature and has igneous rocks.

Plateaus – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

UPSC Preparation

IAS Salary IAS Eligibility
Civil Service Exam Static GK
Government Exams UPSC Syllabus

Multiple Choice Question

Consider the following statements

  1. Malwa Plateau, plateau region in north-central India. It is bounded by the Madhya Bharat Plateau and Bundelkhand Upland to the north, the Vindhya Range to the east and south, and the Gujarat Plains to the west. Of volcanic origin, the plateau comprises central Madhya Pradesh state and southeastern Rajasthan state.
  2. The largest plateau in the world is the Tibetan Plateau, located in central Asia. It stretches through the countries of Tibet, China, and India and occupies an area of 2.5 million square kilometers (1.5 million square miles), which is four times the size of the U.S. state of Texas
  3. The Ranchi Plateau is the largest part of the Chota Nagpur Plateau. The elevation of the plateau surface in this part is about 700 m (2,300 ft) and gradually slopes down towards south-east into the hilly and undulating region of Singhbhum (earlier the Singhbhum district or what is now the Kolhan division). The plateau is highly dissected. The Damodar River originates here and flows through a rift valley.
  4. The second-highest plateau is the Deosai Plateau of the Deosai National Park (also known as Deoasai Plains) at an average elevation of (13,497 ft). It is located in the Astore and Skardu districts of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Choose the correct answer from the below-given options

A) None of the above statements are true.

B) Only statements 2, 3, and 4 are true.

C) Only statements 1 and 3 are true.

D) All the above statements are true


Answer: D

Relevant Links

UPSC Mains General Studies Paper 1 Syllabus, Strategy & Structure 100 Difference between Articles
Previous Years Geography Questions in UPSC Mains General Studies Paper- 1 Topic-Wise General Studies Paper-1 Questions in UPSC Mains


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