What if we told you that one of the most important things in your life was something you couldn’t see or touch? Believe it or not, there’s a huge and largely-undiscovered world right below our feet – and it’s called the plains. Despite their importance, the plains are often overlooked. Why is that? What makes them so special? What could happen if we lost them? In this post, we’ll explore the importance of plains. Stay tuned to know the features of plains!
1. What do you mean by Plain?
A plain is a broad area of relatively flat land. It can be thought of as the opposite of a mountain, a high, steep land area. Plains are often found near coasts and are used for growing crops or grazing animals. The Midwestern United States, for example, is home to many plains that were once used for agriculture. Today, many people live on plains in countries like India and Argentina. (See What is a Biodome?)
2. What are the Features of Plains?Photo by Jean-Luc Crucifix on Unsplash
Here are the features of plains:
- Vast stretches of flat land: Plains typically feature large, flat land areas. They may be partially or mostly covered in grassland, steppe, or prairie vegetation.
- Few trees or other obstacles: Plains are often characterized by having few trees or other natural features that could block the view or impede travel.
- Relatively level terrain: Plains tend to have relatively level terrain, making them desirable for transportation and agricultural purposes. Others may be slightly rolling and undulating.
- Fertile soils: Plains often have fertile soils, making them suitable for agriculture.
- Moderate climate: Plains typically have a moderate climate, with warm summers and cool winters.
- Thickly populated region: Plains are often among the most thickly populated regions in the world. The Great Plains of North America and the Eurasian steppes are two of the most populated regions on earth.
- It is easy to build houses and roads on plains: Plains provide level terrain that is easy to build on and navigate, making them ideal for human settlement and development.
3. What are the Types of Plain?
- Structural Plains: Structural plains are an example of a topographical feature. A structural plain is a region of the Earth’s surface that is relatively flat and has gently sloping sides. These regions are often found in the interior of continents and are created by the erosion of sedimentary rocks. The southeastern plain of the United States is an example of a structural plain.
- Erosional plains: Erosional plains are flat, featureless plains developed due to natural weathering. The most common type of erosion is water erosion, which can occur through various processes such as rainfall, runoff, groundwater seepage, and glaciers. Over time, the continued action of these agents can wear away the surface of a hill or mountain, leaving behind a level or gently-sloping surface. This is what we see in the Canadian shield.
- Depositional plains: Depositional plains are flat, featureless areas of land that are covered in sediments brought down by rivers, glaciers, and winds. The sediments can be clay, silt, sand, gravel, or rocks. The most common type of depositional plain is a river delta. A river delta forms when a river empties its sediment-laden water into a body of standing water, such as a lake or the ocean.
4. How are Plains Formed?
Plains are typically formed when the surrounding land rises in elevation, either through the action of plate tectonics or elevation changes due to volcanic activity. Rivers then flow down from the higher elevations and erode the land, forming a flat plain over time.
In some cases, they may be formed through the deposition of sediments (like mud, sand, or gravel) by rivers or glaciers. A good example is the Great Plains of North America, formed over millions of years as sediment from the Rocky Mountains was deposited in a broad, flat area. (See Which Factors Exert the Greatest Influence over Terrestrial Biome?)
5. Where are Plains Found?Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
Plains can be found on every continent. In North America, the Great Plains stretch from Canada to Mexico. In South America, the Pampas grasslands cover much of Argentina and Uruguay. The African Savannah is a large expanse of open grasslands that covers several countries, including Kenya and Tanzania. And in Australia, the outback is home to wide-open plains and deserts. (See How many Biomes are there in Africa?)
6. What is a Famous Plain?
The Indo-Gangetic plains, stretching from Pakistan to Bangladesh, is home to some of the most fertile land in the world. The extensive river system throughout the region provides ample irrigation, and the flat landscape makes farming easy. The result is some of the highest crop yields in the world.
The Mississippi plain, running from Louisiana to Minnesota, is equally fertile, thanks to its alluvial soil. The wide river valley is perfect for growing crops, and the transportation infrastructure (rivers and railways) makes moving goods around easy. Today, the Mississippi plain is one of America’s most important agricultural regions. (See How has the Removal of Wetlands Impacted Rivers and Streams?)
7. What are the Three Uses of the Plain?
The three geographical importance of plains are settlement, agriculture, and as a source of minerals:
- Settlement: A plain is an ideal place for human settlement because it is spacious and has fertile soil.
- Agriculture: A plain is well-suited for agriculture because it has gentle slopes that allow farmers to till the soil easily, and the flat surface makes it easy to plant crops.
- Minerals: A plain is a valuable mineral source because it contains coal, oil, and gas deposits that miners can exploit.
8. What is the Importance of Plains?
The plains are important because they provide a large area of flat land perfect for farming and other development. They form an important part of the landscape and are often used for transportation corridors.
The plains are important from a climatic standpoint. The flat terrain allows for faster and more efficient air and moisture circulation, which helps create stable weather patterns. The plains also play an important role in the water cycle, acting as a catchment area for rain and snowfall. This is why the importance of plains is not an understatement.
9. What is the Economic Importance of the Plains?
The plains are home to a variety of animals and here is the economic importance of the plains:
- The plains are important for grazing livestock and growing crops.
- They provide a habitat for various animals, including buffalo, deer, elk, and antelope.
- These animals are used for hunting and tourism, which generate revenue for local businesses.
- In addition, the plains play a role in regulating the climate by absorbing rainwater and preventing erosion.
10. Are Plains Good for Farming?
Yes, plains are good for farming. The land is relatively flat and fertile, making it ideal for growing crops. Additionally, the climate is conducive to agriculture, with ample sunshine and rainfall. Farmers in the United States Midwest region have extensively used the plains for crop production. (See What is the Difference Between Hills and Mountains?)
11. What is the Importance of Plains of India?Photo by Evert van Duijn on Unsplash
The importance of plains of India cannot be understated because they provide a large and fertile area of land for agriculture. The flat landscape makes it easy to cultivate crops, and the soil is rich in nutrients, which helps to produce high-quality crops. The plains also have a favorable climate, with ample rainfall and sunshine, which helps support a thriving agricultural industry.
The plains of India are important because they are home to a large number of people. More than 60% of the population lives in the plain region, and the population is growing rapidly. This means the plains are an important center for economic activity and development. The region is also strategically located, close to major ports and transportation networks, which makes it an attractive
So did you understand the importance of plains along with the economic importance of the plains? They provide necessary habitats for animals, help control erosion, and can be used for farming or ranching. What is your favorite use of plains? Let us know in the comments below. (Read 10 Features of Physical Environment)