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What is the difference between a mountain and a plateau? | Class 6- The Earth: Our Habitat ( GEOGRAPHY), SOCIAL SCIENCE


What is the difference between a mountain and a plateau?

( Chapter 6: Major Landforms of the Earth, Class 6- The Earth: Our Habitat ( GEOGRAPHY), SOCIAL SCIENCE)


Mountains and plateaus, both are the major types of landforms and both are elevated land, however, there are some differences-

Elevation and Shape:

A mountain is a tall, prominent, and often rugged landform with steep slopes and high peaks. Mountains typically rise significantly above the surrounding terrain.

A plateau, on the other hand, is a flat-topped elevated area with relatively flat and horizontal surfaces. Plateaus are not as steep as mountains and are characterized by their broad, level tops.


Examples of mountains are the Himalayas, the Alps, and the Andes whereas examples of plateaus are the Deccan Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau.


Mountains are usually formed by tectonic forces, such as the collision of tectonic plates or volcanic activity. These processes create uplifted and often rugged terrain.

Plateaus are typically formed through geological processes like erosion, faulting, or volcanic activity. They are uplifted but exhibit a more level surface due to extended erosion over time.


Mountains are storehouses of water as many rivers originated from mountains whereas there is no such in a plateau.

Plateau are storehouses of minerals like coal, iron ore, gold, diamond, etc whereas there are not many minerals found in mountains.

Mining is easy in the plateau region whereas very difficult to mine in mountain landforms.

Mountain landforms provide idealistic sites for the tourist like mountaineering whereas plateau landforms do provide not much attraction of tourism attraction as mountains apart from the waterfall.

Mountains are not much suitable for farming while there are many areas in the plateau that are suitable for farming; for example, black soils in the Deccan plateau are suitable for cotton crops.

Natural disaster:

Earthquakes and landslides are common natural disasters in mountains whereas drought is a common natural disaster in plateaus.

In summary, mountains are characterized by their tall, steep, and often rugged features, while plateaus have flat and horizontal surfaces.

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