The plateau terminates in the east at the Allegheny Mountains, which are the highest ridges just west of the Allegheny Front. The Front extends from central Pennsylvania through Maryland and into eastern West Virginia.
The plateau is bordered on the west by glacial till plains in the north, generally north of the Ohio River, and the Bluegrass region in the south, generally south of the Ohio River.
Elevations vary greatly. In the glaciated Allegheny Plateau, relief may only reach one hundred feet or less. In the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau in southeastern Ohio and westernmost West Virginia, relief is typically in the range of two hundred to four hundred feet. Absolute highest elevations in this area are often in the range of 900 to 1,500 feet (270 to 460 m). By the Allegheny Front, however, elevations may reach well over 4,000 feet (1,200 m), with relief of up to 2,000 feet (610 m).
Canisteo River Valley from Pinnacle State Park. Glaciation in this area of the plateau removed the sharp relief that is seen in unglaciated areas of the plateau. The line of the distant peaks approximates the level of a peneplain that was uplifted to form the plateau.
Faill, Rodger T. (June 1997). "A Geologic History of the North-Central Appalachians, Part 1: Orogenesis from the Mesoproterozoic through the Taconic Orogeny". American Journal of Science. 297 (6): 551–619. doi:10.2475/ajs.297.6.551.
Faill, Rodger T. (September 1997). "A Geologic History of the North-Central Appalachians, Part 2: The Appalachian Basin from the Silurian through the Carboniferous". American Journal of Science. 297 (7): 729–761. doi:10.2475/ajs.297.7.729.
Faill, Rodger T. (February 1998). "A Geologic History of the North-Central Appalachians, Part 3: The Alleghany Orogeny". American Journal of Science. 298 (2): 131–179. doi:10.2475/ajs.298.2.131.