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Landscapes are Dynamic
Plateaus are an extensive, raised, flat-surfaced area.
Mesas are isolated, broad flat-topped mountains with at least one steep side. Mesas are abundant in the southwestern states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona.
Buttes are smaller flat topped mountains or hills with steep slopes on all sides. They are typically topped by a hard cap rock that is resistant to erosion protects the softer lower layers beneath.
- Pillars or Spires (also towers, needles, and balanced rock)
Pillars and spires are slender isolated columns of rock, that form as the erosional remnant of a butte.
Erosion on flat-lying rock strata
Last updated: February 18, 2020