Plain

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 by 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]

Mount Ararat and the Araratian plain (cropped)
Mount Ararat in the Caucasus, with the Ararat plain in foreground.

Types of plain

AlluvialPlain
A small, incised alluvial plain from Red Rock Canyon State Park (California).
Floodislewight
A flood plain in the Isle of Wight.

Depositional plains

Depositional plains formed by the deposition of materials brought by various agents of transportation such as glaciers, rivers, waves, and wind. Their fertility and economic relevance depend greatly on the types of sediments that are laid down.[6] The types of depositional plains include:

  • Alluvial plains, which are formed by rivers and which may be one of these overlapping types:
    • Alluvial plains, formed over a long period of time by a river depositing sediment on their flood plains or beds, which become alluvial soil. The difference between a flood plain and an alluvial plain is: a flood plain represents areas experiencing flooding fairly regularly in the present or recently, whereas an alluvial plain includes areas where a flood plain is now and used to be, or areas which only experience flooding a few times a century.[8]
    • Flood plain, adjacent to a lake, river, stream, or wetland that experiences occasional or periodic flooding.
    • Scroll plain, a plain through which a river meanders with a very low gradient.
  • Glacial plains, formed by the movement of glaciers under the force of gravity:
    • Outwash plain (also known as 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.[9][10]
    • Till plains, plain of glacial till that form 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.

Erosional plains

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.[13]

Structural plains

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.[14]

Maniototoevening
The Kakanui Range dominates the eastern horizon of the Maniototo Plain
Curry County Eastern New Mexico 2010
Curry County, eastern New Mexico, on the North American Great Plains

Notable examples

Americas

Atardecer en los Llanos de Guárico
Los llanos, an area of land with relatively high relief in Venezuela
Bozan village
Nineveh Plains (Bozan, Iraq)
View of Fields at Biccavolu
View of Fields at Biccavolu, Eastern coastal plains, Andhra Pradesh, India
Yilan Plain 2011-05-11
Yilan Plain, Taiwan
Store Mosse Stora Gungflyet
View of the South Småland peneplain at Store Mosse National Park in Sweden.
Nsomersetlevels
North Somerset Levels taken from Dolebury Warren, England, UK
Fulda countryside
Terrain near the central German town of Fulda.
Argeş County Romania bgiu
The Wallachian Plain, in the southern part of Argeş County.
Festos - Valley of Messara 2
View of Messara from the hill of Phaestus, Greece.
Western Sydney (Badgerys Creek) Airport site - Anton Rd
Cumberland Plain bushland in Western Sydney, Australia.
TaieriPlain
Looking southeast across the Taieri Plain, Otago, New Zealand.

Caribbean and South America

North America

Asia

Eastern Asia

South Asia

Western Asia

Europe

Central Europe

Eastern Europe

Northern Europe

Southern Europe

Oceania

Australia

New Zealand

See also

References

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Whittow, John (1984). Dictionary of Physical Geography. London: Penguin. p. 467. ISBN 978-0-14-051094-2.
  3. ^ Geoff C. Brown; C. J. Hawkesworth; R. C. L. Wilson (1992). Understanding the Earth (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-521-42740-1. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03.
  4. ^ Gornitz, Vivien (ed.). 2009. Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology And Ancient Environments. Springer: Dordrecht, p. 665.
  5. ^ Powell, W. Gabe. 2009. Identifying Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) Using National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) Data as a Hydrologic Model Input for Local Flood Plain Management. Applied Research Project, Texas State University.
  6. ^ Jones, David K.C. (2004). "Denudation chronology". In Goudie, A.S. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Geomorphology. pp. 244–248.
  7. ^ N.G. Vinogradova (1997). Zoogeography of the Abyssal and Hadal Zones. Advances in Marine Biology. 32. pp. 325–387. doi:10.1016/S0065-2881(08)60019-X. ISBN 9780120261321.
  8. ^ "Glossary of 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.
  9. ^ 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
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ 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.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)>.
  12. ^ "Lava Plateaus". Archived from the original on 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  13. ^ Migoń, Piotr (2004). "Planation surface". In Goudie, A.S. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Geomorphology. pp. 788–792.
  14. ^ "Pediplain". Encyclopedia Britannica.

External links

  • Media related to Plains at Wikimedia Commons
Atlantic coastal plain

The Atlantic coastal plain is a physiographic region of low relief along the East Coast of the United States. It extends 2,200 miles (3,500 km) from the New York Bight southward to a Georgia/Florida section of the Eastern Continental Divide, which demarcates the plain from the ACF River Basin in the Gulf Coastal Plain to the west. The province is bordered on the west by the Atlantic Seaboard fall line and the Piedmont plateau, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Floridian province. The Outer Lands archipelagic region forms the insular northeasternmost extension of the Atlantic coastal plain.

The province's average elevation is less than 900 meters above sea level and extends some 50 to 100 kilometers inland from the ocean. The coastal plain is normally wet, including many rivers, marsh, and swampland. There are no hills or mountains in this region of North America. It is composed primarily of sedimentary rock and unlithified sediments and is primarily used for agriculture. The area is subdivided into the Embayed and Sea Island physiographic provinces, as well as the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic coastal plains.

Carbon steel

Carbon steel is a steel with carbon content up to 2.1% by weight. The definition of carbon steel from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) states:

Steel is considered to be carbon steel when:

no minimum content is specified or required for chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or zirconium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect;

the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40 percent;

or the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages noted: manganese 1.65, silicon 0.60, copper 0.60.The term "carbon steel" may also be used in reference to steel which is not stainless steel; in this use carbon steel may include alloy steels.

As the carbon percentage content rises, steel has the ability to become harder and stronger through heat treating; however, it becomes less ductile. Regardless of the heat treatment, a higher carbon content reduces weldability. In carbon steels, the higher carbon content lowers the melting point.

Carrizo Plain

The Carrizo Plain (Obispeño: tšɨłkukunɨtš, "Place of the rabbits"; is a large enclosed grassland plain, approximately 50 miles (80 km) long and up to 15 miles (24 km) across, in southeastern San Luis Obispo County, California, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles. It contains the 246,812-acre (99,881 ha) Carrizo Plain National Monument, and it is the largest single native grassland remaining in California. It includes Painted Rock in the Carrizo Plain Rock Art Discontiguous District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2012 it was further designated a National Historic Landmark due to its archeological value. The San Andreas Fault cuts across the plain.

Coastal plain

A coastal plain is flat, low-lying land adjacent to a sea coast. One of the largest coastal plains is located in southeastern United States. The Gulf Coastal Plain of North America extends northwards from the Gulf of Mexico along the Lower Mississippi River to the Ohio River, which is a distance of about 981 miles (1,579 km).

The Coastal Plains of India lie on either side of the Peninsula Plateau, along the western and eastern coasts. They extend for about 6,100 km from the Rann of Kutch in the west to West Bengal in the east. They are broadly divided into the Western Coastal Plains and the Eastern Coastal Plains. The two coastal plains meet at Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of the Indian mainland.

Floodplain

A floodplain or flood plain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river which stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls, and which experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. The soils usually consist of levees, silts, and sands deposited during floods. Levees are the heaviest materials (usually pebble-size) and they are deposited first; silts and sands are finer materials.

Galilee

Galilee (Hebrew: הגליל‎, translit. HaGalil; Arabic: الجليل‎, translit. al-Jalīl) is a region in northern Israel. The term Galilee traditionally refers to the mountainous part, divided into Upper Galilee (Hebrew: גליל עליון‎, translit. Galil Elyon) and Lower Galilee (Hebrew: גליל תחתון‎, translit. Galil Tahton).

In modern, common usage, Galilee refers to all of the area that is beyond Mount Carmel to the northeast, extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the ridges of Mount Carmel and Mount Gilboa north of Jenin to the south, and from the Jordan Rift Valley to the east across the plains of the Jezreel Valley and Acre to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the coastal plain in the west, including Beth Shean's valley, Sea of Galilee's valley, and Hula Valley, although it usually does not include Haifa's immediate northern suburbs.

By this definition it overlaps with much of the administrative Northern District of the country (which also includes the Golan Heights and part of Menashe Heights but not Qiryat Tiv'on). Western Galilee (Hebrew: גליל מערבי‎, translit. Galil Ma'aravi) is a common term referring to the western part of the Upper Galilee and its shore, and usually also the northwestern part of the Lower Galilee, mostly overlapping with Acre sub district. Galilee Panhandle is a common term referring to the "panhandle" in the east that extends to the north, where Lebanon is to the west, and includes Hula Valley and Ramot Naftali mountains of the Upper Galilee. Historically, the part of Southern Lebanon south of the east-west section of the Litani River also belonged to the region of Galilee, but the present article mainly deals with the Israeli part of the region.

Grassland

Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses (Poaceae); however, sedge (Cyperaceae) and rush (Juncaceae) families can also be found along with variable proportions of legumes, like clover, and other herbs. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica. Grasslands are found in most ecoregions of the Earth. For example, there are five terrestrial ecoregion classifications (subdivisions) of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome (ecosystem), which is one of eight terrestrial ecozones of the Earth's surface.

In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight is an American dramatic television series that premiered on the USA Network on June 1, 2008. The series revolves around Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack), a Deputy United States Marshal attached to the Albuquerque, NM, office of the Federal Witness Security Program (WITSEC), more commonly known as the Federal Witness Protection Program. Shannon must find ways to balance her professional life of protecting witnesses, her professional relationship with her work partner, US Marshal Marshall Mann, and her problematic personal life. The show was filmed on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

On May 4, 2012, In Plain Sight concluded with its fifth season.

Indo-Gangetic Plain

The Indo-Gangetic Plain, also known as the Indus-Ganga Plain and the North Indian River Plain, is a 630-million-acre (2.5-million km2) fertile plain encompassing northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, including most of northern and eastern India, the eastern parts of Pakistan, virtually all of Bangladesh and southern plains of Nepal. The region is named after the Indus and the Ganges rivers and encompasses a number of large urban areas. The plain is bound on the north by the Himalayas, which feed its numerous rivers and are the source of the fertile alluvium deposited across the region by the two river systems. The southern edge of the plain is marked by the Chota Nagpur Plateau. On the west rises the Iranian Plateau.

Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood of 4.4 square miles (11 km2) in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Founded by Boston Puritans seeking farm land to the south, it was originally part of the town of Roxbury. The community seceded from Roxbury as a part of the new town of West Roxbury in 1851, and became part of Boston when West Roxbury was annexed in 1874. In the 19th century, Jamaica Plain became one of the first streetcar suburbs in America and home to a significant portion of Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

In 2010, Jamaica Plain had a population of 37,468 according to the United States Census.

Mississippi Alluvial Plain

The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain is an alluvial plain created by the Mississippi River on which lie parts of seven U.S. states, from southern Louisiana to southern Illinois (Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana).

The plain is divided into (a) the Mississippi River Delta in the southern half of Louisiana and (b) the upper Mississippi Embayment running from central Louisiana to Illinois.

The term Mississippi embayment is sometimes used more narrowly to refer to its section on the western side of the river, running through eastern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri, westernmost Tennessee (east side of the River), westernmost Kentucky (east side of the River) and southernmost Illinois, and excluding northwest Mississippi where the alluvial plain is known as the Mississippi Delta.

It is the largest ecoregion of Louisiana, covering 12,350 square miles (32,000 km2), and including all of the historic Mississippi River floodplain.

Mudflat

Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form when mud is deposited by tides or rivers. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of estuarine silts, clays and marine animal detritus. Most of the sediment within a mudflat is within the intertidal zone, and thus the flat is submerged and exposed approximately twice daily.

In the past tidal flats were considered unhealthy, economically unimportant areas and were often dredged and developed into agricultural land. Several especially shallow mudflat areas, such as the Wadden Sea, are now popular among those practising the sport of mudflat hiking.

On the Baltic Sea coast of Germany in places, mudflats are exposed not by tidal action, but by wind-action driving water away from the shallows into the sea. These wind-affected mudflats are called windwatts in German.

North China Plain

The North China Plain (Chinese: 華北平原; pinyin: Huáběi Píngyuán) is a large-scale downfaulted rift basin formed in late Paleogene and Neogene and then modified by the deposits of the Yellow River and is the largest alluvial plain of China. The plain is bordered to the north by the Yanshan Mountains, to the west by the Taihang Mountains, to the south by the Dabie and Tianmu Mountains, and to the east by the Yellow Sea. The Yellow River flows through the middle of the plain into the Bohai Sea.

Below the Sanmenxia Dam is the multipurpose Xiaolangdi Dam, located in the river's last valley before the North China Plain, a great delta created from silt dropped at the Yellow River's mouth over the millennia. The North China Plain extends over much of Henan, Hebei, and Shandong provinces. and merges with the Yangtze Delta in northern Jiangsu and Anhui provinces. The Yellow River meanders over the fertile, densely populated plain emptying into the Bohai Sea. The plain is one of China's most important agricultural regions, producing corn, sorghum, winter wheat, vegetables, and cotton. Its nickname is "Land of the yellow earth."

The southern part of the plain is traditionally referred to as the Central Plain (pinyin: Zhōngyuán), which formed the cradle of Chinese civilization.The plain covers an area of about 409,500 square kilometers (158,100 sq mi), most of which is less than 50 metres (160 ft) above sea level. This flat yellow-soil plain is the main area of sorghum, millet, maize, and cotton production in China. Wheat, sesame seed, and peanuts are also grown here. The plain is one of the most densely populated regions in the world.

Beijing, the national capital, is located on the northeast edge of the plain, with Tianjin, an important industrial city and commercial port, near its northeast coast. Shengli Oil Field in Shandong is an important petroleum base. It is also home to the Yellow River.

Nullarbor Plain

The Nullarbor Plain ( NUL-ər-bor; Latin: nullus, "no", and arbor, "tree") is part of the area of flat, almost treeless, arid or semi-arid country of southern Australia, located on the Great Australian Bight coast with the Great Victoria Desert to its north. It is the world's largest single exposure of limestone bedrock, and occupies an area of about 200,000 square kilometres (77,000 sq mi). At its widest point, it stretches about 1,100 kilometres (684 mi) from east to west across the border between South Australia and Western Australia.

Pannonian Basin

The Pannonian Basin, or Carpathian Basin, is a large basin in Central Europe. The geomorphological term Pannonian Plain is more widely used for roughly the same region though with a somewhat different sense, with only the lowlands, the plain that remained when the Pliocene Epoch Pannonian Sea dried out.

It is a geomorphological subsystem of the Alps-Himalaya system, specifically a sediment-filled back-arc basin. Most of the plain consists of the Great Hungarian Plain (in the south and east, including the Eastern Slovak Lowland) and the Little Hungarian Plain (in the northwest), divided by the Transdanubian Mountains.

The Pannonian Basin lies in the southeastern part of Central Europe. It forms a topographically discrete unit set in the European landscape, surrounded by imposing geographic boundaries - the Carpathian Mountains and the Alps. The Rivers Danube and Tisza divide the basin roughly in half. It extends roughly between Vienna in the northwest, Bratislava in the northeast, Ostrava in the north, Zagreb in the southwest, Novi Sad in the south and Satu Mare in the east.

In terms of modern state boundaries, the basin centres on the territory of Hungary, but it also covers regions of western Slovakia (the Eastern Slovak Lowland), southeastern Poland, western Ukraine, western Romania, northern Serbia (Vojvodina), the tip of northeast Croatia (Slavonia), northeastern Slovenia, and eastern Austria. The name "Pannonian" comes from Pannonia, a province of the Roman Empire. Only the western part of the territory (the so-called Transdanubia) of modern Hungary formed part of the ancient Roman Province of Pannonia; this comprises less than 29% of modern Hungary, therefore Hungarian geographers avoid the terms "Pannonian Basin" and "Pannonian Plain".

Plain White T's

Plain White T's are an American rock band from Lombard, Illinois, formed in 1997 by high school friends Tom Higgenson, Dave Tirio, and Ken Fletcher. They were joined a short time later by Steve Mast. The group had a mostly underground following in Chicago basements, clubs, and bars in its early years.The band are most prominently known for the number-one hit song "Hey There Delilah", which achieved platinum status in 2007 and earned two Grammy nominations, as well as "1234" and "Rhythm of Love", which were certified platinum in 2009 and 2011.

Plateau

In geology and physical geography, a plateau ( , or ; plural plateaus or plateaux), also called a high plain or a tableland, is an area of a highland, usually consisting of relatively flat terrain, that is raised significantly above the surrounding area, often with one or more sides with steep slopes. Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanic magma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Plateaus are classified according to their surrounding environment as intermontane, piedmont, or continental.

Radiography

Radiography is an imaging technique using X-rays, gamma rays, or similar radiation to view the internal form of an object. To create the image, a beam of X-rays or other form of electromagnetic radiation is produced by an X-ray generator and is projected toward the object. A certain amount of the X-rays or other radiation is absorbed by the object, dependent on the object's density and structural composition. The X-rays that pass through the object are captured behind the object by a detector (either photographic film or a digital detector). The generation of flat two dimensional images by this technique is called projectional radiography. In computed tomography (CT scanning) an X-ray source and its associated detectors rotate around the subject which itself moves through the conical X-ray beam produced. Any given point within the subject is crossed from many directions by many different beams at different times. Information regarding attenuation of these beams is collated and subjected to computation to generate two dimensional images in three planes (axial, coronal, and sagittal) which can be further processed to produce a three dimensional image.

Applications of radiography include medical (or "diagnostic") radiography and industrial radiography. Similar techniques are used in airport security (where "body scanners" generally use backscatter X-ray).

The Plain Dealer

The Plain Dealer is the major daily newspaper of Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It has the largest circulation of any Ohio newspaper and was a top 20 newspaper for Sunday circulation in the United States as of March 2013.As of December 2015, The Plain Dealer had more than 250,000 daily readers and 790,000 readers on Sunday. The Plain Dealer's media market, the Cleveland-Akron DMA (Designated Market Area), is one of the Top 20 markets in the United States. With a population of 3.8 million people, it is the fourth-largest market in the Midwest, and Ohio's largest media market.In April 2013 The Plain Dealer announced it would reduce home delivery to four days a week, including Sunday. This went into effect on August 5, 2013. A daily version of The Plain Dealer is available electronically as well as in print at stores, newsracks and newsstands.

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