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In geography, a plain is a flat, sweeping landmass that generally does not change much in elevation. Plains occur as lowlands along the bottoms of valleys or on the doorsteps of mountains, as coastal plains, and as plateaus or uplands.[1] In a valley, a plain is enclosed on two sides but in other cases a plain may be delineated by a complete or partial ring of hills, by mountains or cliffs. Where a geological region contains more than one plain, they may be connected by a pass (sometimes termed a gap). Coastal plains would mostly rise from sea level until they run into elevated features such as mountains or plateaus.[2] Plains are one of the major landforms on earth, where they are present on all continents, and would cover more than one-third of the world’s land area.[3] Plains may have been formed from flowing lava, deposited by water, ice, wind, or formed by erosion by these agents from hills and mountains. Plains would generally be under the grassland (temperate or subtropical), steppe (semi-arid), savannah (tropical) or tundra (polar) biomes. In a few instances, deserts and rainforests can also be plains.[4] Plains in many areas are important for agriculture because where the soils were deposited as sediments they may be deep and fertile, and the flatness facilitates mechanization of crop production; or because they support grasslands which provide good grazing for livestock.[5]

Contents

1 Types of plain

1.1 Depositional plains

2 Notable examples

2.1 Asia

2.1.1 Western Asia 2.1.2 South Asia 2.1.3 Eastern Asia

2.2 Europe

2.2.1 Northern Europe 2.2.2 Central Europe 2.2.3 Eastern Europe 2.2.4 Southern Europe

2.3 Oceania

2.3.1 Australia 2.3.2 New Zealand

2.4 Americas

2.4.1 North America 2.4.2 Central and South America

3 See also 4 References

Types of plain[edit]

A small, incised alluvial plain from Red Rock Canyon State Park (California).

A flood plain in the Isle of Wight.

Structural plains are relatively undisturbed horizontal surfaces of the Earth. They are structurally depressed areas of the world that make up some of the most extensive natural lowlands on the Earth's surface.[6] Erosional plains have been leveled by various agents of denudation such as running water, rivers, wind and glacier which wear out the rugged surface and smoothens them. Plain
Plain
resulting from the action of these agents of denudation are called peneplains (almost plain) while plains formed from wind action are called pediplains.[7] Depositional plains formed by the deposition of materials brought by various agents of transportation such as rivers, wind, waves, and glaciers. Their fertility and economic relevance depend greatly on the types of sediments that are laid down.[8]

Depositional plains[edit]

Alluvial
Alluvial
plains, formed by rivers, and may be one of these overlapping types:

Alluvial
Alluvial
plain, formed over a long period of time by a river depositing sediment on its flood plain or bed which becomes alluvial soil. The difference between a flood plain and an alluvial plain is that the flood plain represents the area experiencing flooding fairly regularly in the present or recently, whereas an alluvial plain includes areas where the flood plain is now and used to be, or areas which only experience flooding a few times a century.[9] Flood plain, adjacent to a stream, river, lake or wetland that experiences occasional or periodic flooding. Scroll plain, a plain through which a river meanders with a very low gradient.

Lacustrine plain, a plain that originally formed in a lacustrine environment, that is, as the bed of a lake.[10] Lava
Lava
plain, formed by sheets of flowing lava.[11] Glacial plains, formed by the movement of glaciers under the force of gravity:

Sandur (plural sandar), a glacial out-wash plain formed of sediments deposited by melt-water at the terminus of a glacier. Sandar consist mainly of stratified (layered and sorted) gravel and sand.[12][13] Till plain, a plain of glacial till that forms when a sheet of ice becomes detached from the main body of a glacier and melts in place depositing the sediments it carries. Till plains are composed of unsorted material (till) of all sizes.

Abyssal plain, a flat or very gently sloping area of the deep ocean basin.[14] Planitia, the Latin word for plain, is used in the naming of plains on extraterrestrial objects (planets and moons), such as Hellas Planitia on Mars
Mars
or Sedna Planitia
Planitia
on Venus.

Notable examples[edit] See also: Category: Plains by country Asia[edit] Western Asia[edit]

Nineveh Plains
Nineveh Plains
(Bozan, Iraq)

View of Fields at Biccavolu, Eastern coastal plains, Andhra Pradesh, India

Yilan Plain, Taiwan

View of the South Småland peneplain
South Småland peneplain
at Store Mosse National Park
Store Mosse National Park
in Sweden.

North Somerset Levels
North Somerset Levels
taken from Dolebury Warren, England, UK

Terrain near the central German town of Fulda.

The Wallachian Plain, in the southern part of Argeş County.

View of Messara from the hill of Phaestus, Greece.

Cumberland Plain
Cumberland Plain
bushland in Western Sydney, Australia.

The Kakanui Range
Kakanui Range
dominates the eastern horizon of the Maniototo
Maniototo
Plain

Curry County, eastern New Mexico, on the North American Great Plains

Los llanos, an area of land with relatively high relief in Venezuela

Nineveh Plains
Nineveh Plains
(Iraqi Kurdistan) Khuzestan Plain
Khuzestan Plain
(Iran) Mugan plain
Mugan plain
( Iran
Iran
and Azerbaijan) Al-Ghab Plain
Al-Ghab Plain
(Syria) Aleppo plateau
Aleppo plateau
(Syria) Israeli coastal plain
Israeli coastal plain
(Israel) Shiraki Plain
Shiraki Plain
(Georgia) Ararat plain
Ararat plain
( Turkey
Turkey
and Armenia)

South Asia[edit]

Bhuikhel
Bhuikhel
(Nepal) Terai
Terai
(Nepal) Indo-Gangetic Plain
Indo-Gangetic Plain
(India, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
and Pakistan) Eastern coastal plains
Eastern coastal plains
(India) Western coastal plains (India)

Eastern Asia[edit]

West Siberian Plain
West Siberian Plain
(Russia) Kantō Plain
Kantō Plain
(Japan) Nōbi Plain
Nōbi Plain
(Japan) Osaka Plain
Osaka Plain
(Japan) Sarobetsu plain
Sarobetsu plain
(Japan) North China Plain
North China Plain
(China) Chianan Plain
Chianan Plain
(Taiwan) Pingtung Plain
Pingtung Plain
(Taiwan) Yilan Plain
Yilan Plain
(Taiwan) Depsang Plains
Depsang Plains
(China) Kedu Plain
Kedu Plain
(Indonesia) Kewu Plain
Kewu Plain
(Indonesia) Mallig Plains
Mallig Plains
(Philippines)

Europe[edit] Northern Europe[edit]

North European Plain Sub-Cambrian peneplain
Sub-Cambrian peneplain
(Nordic countries)

Central Swedish lowland Hardangervidda
Hardangervidda
(Norway)

Muddus plains
Muddus plains
(Sweden) Kaffiøyra
Kaffiøyra
(Svalbard, Norway) South Småland peneplain
South Småland peneplain
(Sweden) Stora Alvaret
Stora Alvaret
(Öland, Sweden) Cheshire Plain
Cheshire Plain
(England) The Fylde
The Fylde
(Lancashire, England) North Northumberland Coastal Plain
North Northumberland Coastal Plain
(Northern England) North Somerset Levels
North Somerset Levels
(North Somerset, England) Ostrobothnian Plain (Finland) Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain
(England) Solway Plain
Solway Plain
(Cumbria, England) Somerset Levels
Somerset Levels
(Somerset, England) South Coast Plain
South Coast Plain
( Sussex
Sussex
and Hampshire, England) Strandflat
Strandflat
(Norway)

Central Europe[edit]

North German Plain Westphalian Lowland
Lowland
(Germany) Pannonian Basin
Pannonian Basin
(Central Europe) Parndorf Plain
Parndorf Plain
(Austria) Limagne
Limagne
(France) Ochsenfeld
Ochsenfeld
(France)

Eastern Europe[edit]

European Plain Great Hungarian Plain East European Plain Kosovo
Kosovo
field (Kosovo) Bărăgan Plain
Bărăgan Plain
(Romania) Wallachian Plain
Wallachian Plain
(Romania) Little Hungarian Plain
Little Hungarian Plain
(Hungary, Austria
Austria
and Slovakia) Pannonian Steppe
Steppe
(Hungary) Danubian Plain
Plain
(Bulgaria) Upper Thracian Plain
Upper Thracian Plain
(Bulgaria) Dnieper Lowland
Lowland
(Ukraine) Polesian Lowland
Lowland
( Ukraine
Ukraine
and Belarus)

Southern Europe[edit]

Mesaoria
Mesaoria
(Cyprus) Agro Nocerino Sarnese
Agro Nocerino Sarnese
(Italy) Campidano
Campidano
(Italy) Nurra
Nurra
(Sardinia, Italy) Po Valley
Valley
(Italy) Rieti Valley
Valley
(Central Italy) Tavoliere delle Puglie
Tavoliere delle Puglie
(Southern Italy) Lelantine Plain
Lelantine Plain
(Greece) Messara Plain
Messara Plain
(Greece)

Oceania[edit] Australia[edit]

Bogong High Plains
Bogong High Plains
(Victorian Alps, Australia) Cumberland Plain
Cumberland Plain
(Sydney, Australia) Esperance Plains
Esperance Plains
(Western Australia) Molonglo Plain
Molonglo Plain
(Australian Capital Territory) Mulga Lands
Mulga Lands
(eastern Australia) Nullarbor Plain
Nullarbor Plain
(Southern Australia) Ord Victoria Plain
Ord Victoria Plain
(Central Australia) Swan Coastal Plain
Swan Coastal Plain
(Perth, Australia)

New Zealand[edit]

Awarua Plains
Awarua Plains
(Southland) Canterbury Plains
Canterbury Plains
(Canterbury) Hauraki Plains
Hauraki Plains
(Waikato) Maniototo
Maniototo
(Otago) Taieri (Otago)

Americas[edit] North America[edit]

Great Plains
Great Plains
( United States
United States
and Canada) Interior Plains
Interior Plains
( United States
United States
and Canada) Atlantic coastal plain
Atlantic coastal plain
(United States) Gulf Coastal Plain
Gulf Coastal Plain
( United States
United States
and Mexico) Carrizo Plain
Carrizo Plain
(California, United States) Lake
Lake
Superior Lowland
Lowland
(Wisconsin, United States) Laramie Plains
Laramie Plains
(Wyoming) Mississippi
Mississippi
Alluvial
Alluvial
Plain
Plain
(Mississippi) Oxnard Plain
Oxnard Plain
(Ventura County, California) Snake River
River
Plain
Plain
(Idaho)

Central and South America[edit]

Caroni Plain
Caroni Plain
(Trinidad and Tobago) Los Llanos ( Venezuela
Venezuela
and Colombia) Pampas
Pampas
(Argentina, Uruguay
Uruguay
and Brazil) Venezuelan Llanos
Venezuelan Llanos
(Venezuela)

See also[edit]

Look up plain in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Plains.

Geography
Geography
portal

Field Flooded grasslands and savannas Flood-meadow Machair Meadow Pasture Prairie Rangeland Water-meadow Wet meadow

References[edit]

^ Rood, Stewart B.; Pan, Jason; Gill, Karen M.; Franks, Carmen G.; Samuelson, Glenda M.; Shepherd, Anita (2008-02-01). "Declining summer flows of Rocky Mountain rivers: Changing seasonal hydrology and probable impacts on floodplain forests". Journal of Hydrology. 349 (3–4): 397–410. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.11.012.  ^ Whittow, John (1984). Dictionary of Physical Geography. London: Penguin, 1984, p. 467. ISBN 0-14-051094-X. ^ Geoff C. Brown; C. J. Hawkesworth; R. C. L. Wilson (1992). Understanding the Earth (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0-521-42740-1. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03.  ^ Gornitz, Vivien (ed.). 2009. Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology And Ancient Environments. Springer: Dordrecht, p. 665. ^ Powell, W. Gabe. 2009. Identifying Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) Using National Agriculture
Agriculture
Imagery Program (NAIP) Data as a Hydrologic Model Input for Local Flood Plain
Plain
Management. Applied Research Project, Texas State University. ^ "Pediplain". Encyclopedia Britannica.  ^ Migoń, Piotr (2004). "Planation surface". In Goudie, A.S. Encyclopedia of Geomorphology. pp. 788–792.  ^ Jones, David K.C. (2004). "Denudation chronology". In Goudie, A.S. Encyclopedia of Geomorphology. pp. 244–248.  ^ "Glossary of Landform
Landform
and Geologic Terms" (PDF). National Soil Survey Handbook—Part 629. National Cooperative Soil Survey. April 2013. Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016.  ^ United States. Department of Conservation. Division of Geology. Glacial Sluceways and Lacustrine Plains of Southern Indiana. By William D. Thornburry. Bloomington: n.p., 1950. Web. <"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-12-16. >. ^ " Lava
Lava
Plateaus". Archived from the original on 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2014-01-26.  ^ Magilligan F.J., Gomez B., Mertes L.A.K., Smith, L.C. Smith N.D., Finnegan D., Garvin J.B., Geomorphic effectiveness, sandur development, and the pattern of landscape response during jökulhlaups: Skeiðarársandur, southeastern Iceland, Geomorphology 44 (2002) 95–113 ^ Smith L.C., Sheng Y., Magilligan F.J., Smith N.D., Gomez B., Mertes L., Krabill W.B., Garven J.B., Geomorphic impact and rapid subsequent recovery from the 1996 Skeiðarársandur jökulhlaup, Iceland, measured with multi-year airborne lidar. Geomorphology vol. 75 Is. 1-2 (2006) 65-75 ^ N.G. Vinogradova (1997). "Zoogeography of the Abyssal and Hadal Zones". Advances in Marine Biology. Advances in Marine Biology. 32: 325–387. doi:10.1016/S0065-2881(08)60019-X. ISBN 9780120261321. 

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