Plateaus and Erosional Mountains

As you drive across the United States, you see many beautiful landscapes. Ocean shorelines give way to uplifted regions near the east and west coasts. Here, mountains have been formed by tectonic forces below earth's surface. But mountains are not the only formations that have been made this way. Plateaus are formed by uplifting also.

Plateaus are large areas of flat rock. They rise high above sea level. Large areas of the world are covered with plateaus. They are often found near folded mountain ranges. But they are not formed by faulting and folding the way that mountains are formed.

Plateaus are formed by tectonic forces, however. Horizontal forces push against large areas of rock. The stress causes them to uplift. Because there is no faulting or folding, these raised layers remain flat.

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