Model Question and Answers for APSC | How are plateaus formed? Also, briefly discuss the features of the Deccan plateau and its economic significance
Ans : Plateau, extensive area of flat upland usually bounded by an escarpment (i.e., steep slope) on all sides but sometimes enclosed by mountains. The essential criteria for plateaus are low relative relief and some altitude.
Features of the Deccan plateau
1. The Deccan Plateau extends over eight Indian states and encompasses a wide range of habitats, covering significant parts of Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is located between two mountain ranges, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.
2. The north-western part of the plateau is made of igneous rocks known as the Deccan Traps. The rocks are spread over the whole of Maharashtra and parts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh,making it one of the largest volcanic provinces in the world.
1. Many plateaus form as magma deep inside the Earth pushes toward the surface but fails to break through the crust. Instead, the magma lifts up the large, flat, impenetrable rock above it. Geologists believe a cushion of magma may have given the Colorado Plateau its final lift beginning about ten million years ago.
2. Repeated lava flows that spill out from cracks in the ground and spread out over hundreds of square miles can also slowly build up massive plateaus. The Columbia Plateau in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and the Deccan Plateau of west-central India were formed by these runny lava flows.
3. The highest and biggest plateau on Earth, the Tibetan Plateau in East Asia, resulted from a collision between two tectonic plates about 55 million years ago.
Economic significance of Deccan Plateau:
1. Deccan plateau and the region are rich in minerals, agriculture, and water resources.
2. Mineral ores found are mica and iron ore in the Chhota Nagpur region, and diamonds, gold and other metals in the Golconda region. Large deposits of uranium have been discovered in the Tummalapalle belt and in the Bhima basin at Gogi in Karnataka.
3. The region is rich in black soil and is conducive for cotton cultivation. Other crops include tobacco, oilseeds, and sugar cane. Cash crops such as coffee, tea, coconuts, areca, pepper, rubber, cashew nuts, tapioca, and cardamom are widely grown on plantations in the Nilgiri Hills and on the western slopes of the Western Ghats.
4. Its principal rivers—the Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri flow from the Western Ghats eastward to the Bay of Bengal, and thus the region is an important source of hydroelectric power.
5. Major tourist destinations such as Ajanta and Ellora caves and other attractions are located in the region thus contributing to the economy of the belt