In geology and physical geography a plateau ( , or ; plural plateaus or plateaux),is also called a high plain or a tableland, it is an area of a highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain that is raised significantly above the surrounding area, often with one or more sides with steep slopes. Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, Piedmont, or continental.
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