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Great Sand Sea Stretching Across Libya and Egypt – March 20th, 2011

24.0N 25.0E

March 20th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Image of the day

Egypt - February 17th, 2011

This image stretches from Turkey (above), across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt (lower right) and Libya (lower left). Visible in the lower half of the image is the Libyan Desert, also known as the Great Sand Sea, located in the northern and eastern part of the Sahara Desert.

It occupies Egypt west of the Nile (the Egyptian portion is thus called the Western Desert), eastern Libya and northwestern Sudan alongside the Nubian Desert. It extends approximately 1100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle. Like most of the Sahara, this desert is primarily sand and hamada or stony plain.

Sand plains, dunes, ridges and some depressions (basins) typify the region, and no rivers drain into or out of the area. The desert’s Gilf Kebir plateau reaches an altitude of just over 1000 m, and along with the nearby massif of Jebel Uweinat is an exception to the uninterrupted territory of basement rocks covered by layers of horizontally bedded sediments, forming a massive sand plain, low plateaus and dunes.


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