New Plateau in the Western Ghats
- Researchers have discovered a rare low-altitude basalt plateau in the Western Ghats that could offer new insights into surviving climate change.
- The plateau has a widespread flora with 76 species of plants and shrubs from 24 different families discovered so far.
- It is one of the four global biodiversity hotspots in India and can prove to be a repository of information for species interactions.
- Researchers believe that the plateau can help study the effects of climate change on species survival.
- The plateau was discovered in Manjare village of Maharashtra’s Thane district and is the fourth type of plateau to be identified in the region; the previous three are laterites at high and low altitudes and basalt at high altitudes.
- Plateaus are dominant landscapes in Western Ghats. They are classified as a type of rocky outcrop.
- Rocky outcrops are geological features that protrude above the surface of surrounding land.
- They are formed by weathering that happens at different rates, causing the less weathered rock to remain exposed.
- They are found on all continents, in most climate zones and vegetation types.
Source - PIB