What is a plateau?

   A plateau is an elevated flat area. Plateaus may be a few hundred feet high or thousands of feet high. In most cases they are distinctly above the surrounding lands, but some are flat lands surrounded by mountains.
   Some plateaus are small, but most are hundreds of square miles in area.
   Plateaus developed from upheavals of the earth's surface when mountains were being formed from lava flows and from settling of the surface which left one portion higher. Most plateaus are worn and gullied away, giving the appearance of being a mountain region. A dramatic example of EROSION at work on a plateau is the Grand Canyon, formed in the Colorado Plateau of the West. The greatest plateau, however, is found in Tibet.