noun \ˈpē-ni-ˌplān, ˈpe-\

Definition of PENEPLAIN

:  a land surface of considerable area and slight relief shaped by erosion

Variants of PENEPLAIN

pe·ne·plain also pe·ne·plane \ˈpē-ni-ˌplān, ˈpe-\


Latin paene, pene almost + English plain or plane
First Known Use: 1889


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Gently undulating, almost featureless plain near sea level. This would form, theoretically, by various erosional processes that reduce areas of initially high relief produced by active uplift to areas of virtually no relief. The lack of present-day peneplains tends to discredit the theory, but some geomorphologists propose that large areas of low relief at high altitude in some mountains are evidence of uplifted peneplains. Others question whether the dynamic relationship between erosion and rock type would ever allow the development of a peneplain, even over very long timespans.


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