Difference between Plateau and Mountain

Plateau and Mountain are two different types of landforms.

The main difference is a plateau is a highland area or elevated plain with relatively level surfaces whereas a mountain is a large natural elevation of the Earth’s surface rising above the surrounding terrain.

Before we move to the differences, let’s understand what are Plateau and Mountain:

  • Plateau: A plateau is a flat area that has been raised above the surrounding land. Plateaus can be formed by erosion, or they can be formed by a buildup of rock that was pushed up from underneath the earth’s surface.
  • Mountain: A mountain is a landform that rises high enough above the surrounding terrain to provide a significant barrier to movement and is also tall enough to have significant local relief.

Plateau vs Mountain

Now, let’s move to Plateau vs Mountain:

Major differences between Plateau and Mountain

Plateau Mountain
Plateaus have one or more sides that are flat and horizontal. Mountains have a steep slope from one side to another, with a peak in the middle.
Plateau landscapes tend to be dryer. Mountain landscapes tend to receive lots of rain every year due to their location close enough to oceans or lakes.
The land rises up only a little bit above the ground around it; it’s not very tall. The land rises far above where it meets the ground around it; it’s very tall.
Plateaus are formed by weathering processes or erosion from streams or running water. A mountain is formed over millions of years due to tectonic forces or volcanic activity.
Plateaus are formed by the erosion of an uplifted area. Mountains are formed by the upthrust of rock layers.


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That’s it.

Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Plateau and Mountain”.

Also see:

Final words

In conclusion, the difference between a plateau and a mountain is that a plateau is a long and relatively flat area of land that has a gentle slope on all sides. A mountain, on the other hand, is an elevated region or mass of land with steep slopes and peaks.

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09/26/2023 11:08 am GMT


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