Definition of peneplain in US English:


(also peneplane)


  • A more or less level land surface produced by erosion over a long period, undisturbed by crustal movement.

    • ‘The south slope is generally planar except where incised by glacial or fluvial valleys and is a remnant peneplain of late Cretaceous-early Tertiary age, which is well developed in western Mongolia and adjacent regions of China.’
    • ‘the Palaeozoic Urals were eroded down to a peneplain by the end of Jurassic time, with platform sediments covering most of the orogen.’
    • ‘Here the sequence of processes and landforms which exists between the tectonic uplift of an area and its reduction to a peneplain or erosion surface close to base level is believed to have occurred many times in certain regions.’
    • ‘It occupies the high-lying peneplain between South Africa and Swaziland, and borders against the low-lying, older greenstone terrane in the north along a prominent, 500-700 m high escarpment.’
    • ‘Possibly this was the time of exhumation of the Augenstein peneplain in the Northern Calcareous Alps, formed during Priabonian-Early Kiscellian time.’


Late 19th century: from Latin paene ‘almost’ + plain.