Plain


Plain

s.

Plains occur as lowlands and at the bottoms of valleys but also on plateaus at high elevations. They may have been formed from flowing lava, deposited by water, ice or wind, or formed by erosion by these agents from hills and mountains.

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 mechanisation of crop production; or because they support grasslands which provide good grazing for livestock.

Types of terrestrial plains

*Coastal plain, an area of low-lying land adjacent to a sea coast; the term is used especially where they contrast with hills, mountains or plateaux further inland.
*Fluvial plains are formed by rivers and streams, and may be one of these overlapping types:
**Flood plain, adjacent to a stream, river, lake or wetland that experiences occasional or periodic flooding.
**Alluvial plain, formed over a long period of time by a river depositing sediment on its floodplain or bed which becomes alluvial soil. The difference between a floodplain and an alluvial plain is that the floodplain represents the area experiencing flooding fairly regularly in the present or recently, whereas an alluvial plain includes areas where the floodplain is now and used to be, or areas which only experience flooding a few times a century.
**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.
*Lava plain, formed by sheets of flowing lava.
*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 carried.

Other types of plain

The term may also be used for flat areas of the ocean floor or for flat areas on moons and planets.
*Abyssal plain, a flat or very gently sloping area of the deep ocean basin floor.

Notes and references

ee also

*Field
*Flooded grasslands and savannas
*Flood-meadow
*Grassland
*Liverpool Plains
*Machair
*Meadow
*Pasture
*Plateau
*Prairie
*Rangeland
*Savanna
*Steppe
*Water-meadow
*Wet meadow
*Veld


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • plain — plain …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • plain — plain, aine 1. (plin, plè n ) adj. 1°   Qui est sans inégalités, uni. •   Si le pays est bossu ou plain, couvert de bois ou découvert, VAUBAN. Dîme, p. 223. •   Des cascades dans des lieux plains et sablonneux, J. J. ROUSS. Hél. IV, 11.… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Plain — Plain, a. [Compar. {Plainer}; superl. {Plainest}.] [F., level, flat, fr. L. planus, perhaps akin to E. floor. Cf. {Llano}, {Piano}, {Plan}, {Plane} level, a level surface.] 1. Without elevations or depressions; flat; level; smooth; even. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • plain — PLAIN, [pl]aine. adj. Il signifie proprement, Qui est uni, plat, & sans inegalitez: & il reçoit divers sens selon les divers substantifs, ausquels il se joint. Ainsi on dit, qu Une maison est en plain champ, en plaine campagne, pour dire, qu Elle …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • plain — plain1 [plān] adj. [OFr < L planus, flat, level < IE base * plā , broad, flat > FLOOR, FIELD] 1. Obs. flat; level; plane 2. free from obstructions; open; clear [in plain view] 3. clearly understood; evident; obvious [to make one s meani …   English World dictionary

  • plain — adj 1 plane, flat, *level, even, smooth, flush Antonyms: solid 2 clear, distinct, obvious, *evident, manifest, patent, apparent, palpable Analogous words: *clear, lucid, perspicuous: *explicit, express, definite, specific, categorical Antonyms:… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • plain — [adj1] clear, obvious apparent, audible, big as life*, broad, comprehensible, definite, distinct, evident, legible, lucid, manifest, open, open and shut*, palpable, patent, talking turkey*, transparent, understandable, visible; concepts… …   New thesaurus

  • Plain — Plain, n. [Cf. OF. plaigne, F. plaine. See {Plain}, a.] 1. Level land; usually, an open field or a broad stretch of land with an even surface, or a surface little varied by inequalities; as, the plain of Jordan; the American plains, or prairies.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plain — Plain, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Plained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Plaining}.] [Cf. {Plane}, v.] 1. To plane or level; to make plain or even on the surface. [R.] [1913 Webster] We would rake Europe rather, plain the East. Wither. [1913 Webster] 2. To make… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plain — ist der Name folgender Personen: Honest John Plain Maria Plain sowie des Adelsgeschlechts: Grafen von Plain Plain ist ein Ortsname: Plain (Wisconsin) Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plain — Plain, adv. In a plain manner; plainly. To speak short and pleyn. Chaucer. To tell you plain. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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