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.
Now, let’s move to Plateau vs Mountain:
Major differences between Plateau and 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.|
Note that sometimes, the question might also be asked as “distinguish between Plateau and Mountain”.
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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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