||The English used in this article may not be easy for everybody to understand. (October 2011)|
A lava plateau is a flat, wide surface (plateau) that is formed when lava comes out of the ground and spreads out very quickly. The layers of lava can build up over time to form a lava plateau. Here are general properties of lava plateaus:
- They are very large areas of basaltic lava with a layered structure.
- Lava makes the plateau bigger, and higher, with each eruption.
- They tend to be flat.
- Ocean ridge eruptions make large plains on the sea floor.
- The lava of these plateaus are thin and runny.
- These plateaus take millions of years to form.
One example of a lava plateau is the Columbia Plateau in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in the United States. Its area is 63,000 square miles (160,000 km²) and is 6,000 feet(1.8 km) thin. Another example of a lava plateau is the Antrim Plateau in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.