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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
1 Types of plain
1.1 Depositional plains
2 Notable examples
2.1.1 Western Asia
2.1.2 South Asia
2.1.3 Eastern Asia
2.2.1 Northern Europe
2.2.2 Central Europe
2.2.3 Eastern Europe
2.2.4 Southern Europe
2.3.2 New Zealand
2.4.1 North America
2.4.2 Central and South America
3 See also
Types of plain
A small, incised alluvial plain from Red Rock Canyon State Park
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
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 resulting from the action of
these agents of denudation are called peneplains (almost plain) while
plains formed from wind action are called pediplains.
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.
Alluvial plains, formed by rivers, and may be one of these overlapping
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.
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
Lacustrine plain, a plain that originally formed in a lacustrine
environment, that is, as the bed of a lake.
Lava plain, formed by sheets of flowing lava.
Glacial plains, formed by the movement of glaciers under the force of
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.
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
Planitia, the Latin word for plain, is used in the naming of plains on
extraterrestrial objects (planets and moons), such as Hellas Planitia
Mars or Sedna
Planitia on Venus.
See also: Category: Plains by country
Nineveh Plains (Bozan, Iraq)
View of Fields at Biccavolu, Eastern coastal plains, Andhra Pradesh,
Yilan Plain, Taiwan
View of the
South Småland peneplain
South Småland peneplain at
Store Mosse National Park
Store Mosse National Park in
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 bushland in Western Sydney, Australia.
Kakanui Range dominates the eastern horizon of the
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 (Iraqi Kurdistan)
Khuzestan Plain (Iran)
Mugan plain (
Iran and Azerbaijan)
Al-Ghab Plain (Syria)
Aleppo plateau (Syria)
Israeli coastal plain
Israeli coastal plain (Israel)
Shiraki Plain (Georgia)
Ararat plain (
Turkey and Armenia)
Indo-Gangetic Plain (India,
Bangladesh and Pakistan)
Eastern coastal plains
Eastern coastal plains (India)
Western coastal plains (India)
West Siberian Plain
West Siberian Plain (Russia)
Kantō Plain (Japan)
Nōbi Plain (Japan)
Osaka Plain (Japan)
Sarobetsu plain (Japan)
North China Plain
North China Plain (China)
Chianan Plain (Taiwan)
Pingtung Plain (Taiwan)
Yilan Plain (Taiwan)
Depsang Plains (China)
Kedu Plain (Indonesia)
Kewu Plain (Indonesia)
Mallig Plains (Philippines)
North European Plain
Sub-Cambrian peneplain (Nordic countries)
Central Swedish lowland
Muddus plains (Sweden)
Kaffiøyra (Svalbard, Norway)
South Småland peneplain
South Småland peneplain (Sweden)
Stora Alvaret (Öland, Sweden)
Cheshire Plain (England)
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 (England)
Solway Plain (Cumbria, England)
Somerset Levels (Somerset, England)
South Coast Plain
South Coast Plain (
Sussex and Hampshire, England)
North German Plain
Pannonian Basin (Central Europe)
Parndorf Plain (Austria)
Great Hungarian Plain
East European Plain
Kosovo field (Kosovo)
Bărăgan Plain (Romania)
Wallachian Plain (Romania)
Little Hungarian Plain
Little Hungarian Plain (Hungary,
Austria and Slovakia)
Upper Thracian Plain
Upper Thracian Plain (Bulgaria)
Ukraine and Belarus)
Agro Nocerino Sarnese
Agro Nocerino Sarnese (Italy)
Nurra (Sardinia, Italy)
Valley (Central Italy)
Tavoliere delle Puglie
Tavoliere delle Puglie (Southern Italy)
Lelantine Plain (Greece)
Messara Plain (Greece)
Bogong High Plains
Bogong High Plains (Victorian Alps, Australia)
Cumberland Plain (Sydney, Australia)
Esperance Plains (Western Australia)
Molonglo Plain (Australian Capital Territory)
Mulga Lands (eastern Australia)
Nullarbor Plain (Southern Australia)
Ord Victoria Plain
Ord Victoria Plain (Central Australia)
Swan Coastal Plain
Swan Coastal Plain (Perth, Australia)
Awarua Plains (Southland)
Canterbury Plains (Canterbury)
Hauraki Plains (Waikato)
Great Plains (
United States and Canada)
Interior Plains (
United States and Canada)
Atlantic coastal plain
Atlantic coastal plain (United States)
Gulf Coastal Plain
Gulf Coastal Plain (
United States and Mexico)
Carrizo Plain (California, United States)
Lowland (Wisconsin, United States)
Laramie Plains (Wyoming)
Oxnard Plain (Ventura County, California)
Central and South America
Caroni Plain (Trinidad and Tobago)
Los Llanos (
Venezuela and Colombia)
Uruguay and Brazil)
Venezuelan Llanos (Venezuela)
Look up plain in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Plains.
Flooded grasslands and savannas
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