Plains and Types of Plains


Plains and Types of Plains

This article will clearly explains about Plains and Different types of plains


  • Plain is extensive, relatively level area of land. It exhibits gentle slopes and small local relief.
  • It occupies slightly more than one-third of the land surface. Plains are found on all continents except Antarctica. Some are tree-covered and others are grassy.
  • They have different names in different climates and countries. E.g. steppes, prairies, pampas, veld etc.
  • The cause of the formation of plains included the erosive action of water, glaciation, the draining of a lake, deposition of sediments and the upliftment of a Continental shelf.

Types of Plains

On the basis of their mode of formation, the plains can be of various types.

  1. Structural Plains
  2. Erosional Plains
  3. Depositional Plains

Structural Plains

They are structurally depressed areas, which are largely formed by horizontally bedded rocks relatively undisturbed by crustal movements. E.g. Great plains of the USA, Central lowlands of Australia.

Erosional Plains

They are formed by the action of various Erosional events that work to bring an elevated, region near to the sea level.

  1. Riverine Erosion Plains
  2. Glaciated Plains
  3. Wind Eroded Plains

Riverine Erosion Plains

Riverine Erosion Plains will form peneplains, which are characterised by residual hills known as Monadnocks.

Glaciated Plains

Glaciated Plains forms ice-scoured plain, e.g. ice scoured plains of North-Western Europe and North America.

The Wind Eroded Plains

In arid and semi-arid regions, wind deflation will blow desert materials, lowering the level of land and forming extensive plains, e.g. the Reg of Africa.

Depositional Plains

The plains formed by the filling up of sediments carried by agents of Erosion like wind, rivers, glaciers and underground water into depressions are called Depositional plains.

  1. Riverine Alluvial plains
  2. Glacial Plains
  3. Loess Plains
  4. Lacustrine Plains

Riverine Alluvial Plains

These plains are formed by the deposition of sediments brought down by rivers. It includes Piedmont Alluvial plains, floodplains and delta plains.

Glacial Plains

Glacial Plains are formed by the deposition of unsorted sands and travels brought down by glaciers. Glacial Plains are divided into three types on the basis of composition and structure. Till plains, Morainic plains and Outwash plains.

Loess Plains

Loess Plains are formed due to the deposition of sand and clay brought by the winds. These plains lack in layers but are highly porous. The soil of these plains is very fertile e.g. the Great plain of Northern China.

Lacustrine Plains

Lacustrine Plains are the plains formed by lakes filled by the sediments brought down by the rivers. The valley of Kashmir is an example of this type.

The difference between Structural, Erosional and Depositional Plains

Structural Plains

Structural Plains formed due to the uplift of a part of the sea floor e.g. the Great plain of USA.

Erosional Plains

Erosional Plain formed when the elevated tract of land is worn down by the process of Erosion.

E.g. plain of North Canada.

Depositional Plains

Depositional Plain formed by filling up of sediments into depressions along the foothills, lakes and seas e.g. Info Ganga plain.




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