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Red Simpson Desert Sands and Channel Country, Australia – January 23rd, 2012

25.4S 138.2E

January 23rd, 2012 Category: Deserts, Image of the day, Lakes, Rivers

Australia - December 30th, 2011

The large, orange-red expanse in the upper left quadrant of this image is the Simpson Desert, a large area of dry, red sandy plain and dunes in Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland in central Australia. It is the fourth largest Australian desert, with an area of 176,500 km² (68,100 sq mi).

Visible east of the desert is Australia’s Channel Country, a region of outback Australia located mostly in the state of Queensland but also in portions of South Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales. The Channel Country features an arid landscape with a series of ancient flood plains from rivers which only flow intermittently. The numerous intertwined rivulets that cross the region cover 150,000 km². The principal rivers are Georgina River, Cooper Creek and the Diamantina River.

When there is sufficient rainfall in their catchment area these rivers flow into Lake Eyre, South Australia. Here, the land around the rivulets appears brown, indicating little water flowing through them and causing green vegetation to flourish, and Lake Eyre is mostly white, indicating that water has dried up and left salt flats exposed.

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