Complete information on Maharashtra Plateau of Peninsular Uplands

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Maharashtra Plateau (15° 44-21° 40′ N and 73° 15′ – 80° 33′ E) includes the entire state of Maharashtra except the Konkan coast and the Sahyadris. Much of the region except the eastern part of Wardha-Wainganga basin and a small littoral patch in Ratnagiri is underlain by basaltic rocks of the Deccan Trap.

The Wardha-Wainganga contains schistose gneisses of the Archaean flanked by Dharwarian schists and occasional patches of Cuddapahs and Vindhyans. The rest of the region has a basaltic base.

The basltic sheet has a thickness of more than 2,000 m and has been formed by the consolidation of the lava that erupted sub-aerially during the late Cretaceous and early, Eocene periods (about 60 to 65 mdlion years ago).

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The most striking feature in the landform assemblage of the region is the 1,000 m fault during the Eocene period (post- Trappean) giving rise to the present shore line of the Arabian sea.

The western margin of the plateau in which are preserved the relicts of the original plateau and the ancient surfaces of erosion is called Sahyadri (width 15-25 km); height 600-700 m) whose peaks are covered with lateritic red soil and localised patches of dense forests.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the Deccan Plateau from the Sahyadri. Eastward from the Ghats (saddle or hill) the land­scape is characterised by broad valleys divided by flat-topped interfluves, the mesas and rectilinear escarpments.

Further eastward the reduction in the amount of rainfall has caused aridity and develop­ment of inselberg type of landscape. Finally the interfluves disappear giving rise to broad alluvial plains covered with the regur sods.

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The Tapi basin (200-300 m) in the north is an asymmetrical valley with gentle slope in the south and steep gradient in the north towards the Satpura hills. The area has a number of dykes which have affected the course of the tributary streams. The Maharashtra Plateau is further subdivided into 5 micro units: (i) the Ajanta Hills, (ii) the Godavari valley, (iii) the Ahmednagar-Balaghat plateau, (iv) the Bhima Basin, and (v) the Mahadeo Upland.

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