About 18 percent of the surface of the earth is covered by the plateaus.
Unlike a peak, this landform has a wide elevated area at its top and almost even surface out there.
Rivers or streams in a plateau region can frequently carve out deep valleys and gorges.
However, a plateau stands much higher above the sea level of the surrounding areas.
The intermontane plateaus are plateaus that are partially or entirely surrounded by the fold mountain chain.
These extensive landforms are raised to thousands of meters above sea level by the vertical movements.
The wide plateau of Tibet, which is over 4500 meters high, is one such example.
Plateau of Tibet is surrounded by folded mountains like Himalaya, Karakoram, Kunlun, Tien Shah on its two sides.
Examples of this type of plateau are The plateau of Colorado, The plateau of Mexico, Bolivia and Iran.
Piedmont Plateaus are situated at the foot of the mountains and are surrounded on other sides by a plain or an ocean.
Numerous erosion agents reduce the heights of Piedmont Plateaus.
Because of this, Piedmont Plateaus have also termed the plateaus of denudation.
Examples of this type of plateau are the plateau of Malwa in India, those of Patagonia facing the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian situated between the Appalachian Mountain and the Atlantic Coastal Plain in the U.S.A
Continental Plateaus are formed by a broad continental upliftment.
These Plateaus are also formed when basic lava spreads horizontally to cover original topography to a great depth.
The volcanic lava covered plateau of Maharashtra in India, Snake River Plateau in North West USA are examples of this type.
These are also, called the plateau of accumulation.
In comparison to the surrounding lowland or the sea, all continental plateaus display an abrupt elevation.
As compared to others, these plateaus cover a vast area like the Great Indian Plateau and those of Arabia, Spain, Greenland, Africa, and Australia.
They may be tilted on one side without any disturbance in the horizontal nature of underlying rock strata as in the case of the Great Indian plateau.