Tall Tales From The Field

Posts tagged “Plateau

Buttes, Plateaus and Mesas- What’s the Difference?

The images below shot last week along the Arizona/Utah border show buttes, plateaus and mesas, geologic land forms that permeate America’s Desert Southwest. In general terms, buttes are smaller than mesas and mesas are smaller than plateaus. Buttes were probably once mesas but shrunk in size due to erosion. Plateaus are bigger than both mesas and buttes. But specific sizes of each land form are not normally defined.

 

Mesas, Buttes and Plateaus make up the landscape near Fredonia, Arizona

 

 

 

Storm clouds hover over Gooseberry Mesa in Southern Utah. The smaller hills at the base can be categorized as buttes.