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Posts tagged Desert

Vast Rub’ al Khali Desert in Saudi Arabia

20.6N 47.8E

May 27th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Saudi Arabia - April 28th, 2010

Saudi Arabia - April 28th, 2010

Much of the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula here is covered by the Rub’ al Khali, meaning “Empty Quarter”, an expansive sandy desert. Parts of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman can all be seen.

The Rub’ Al Khali covers about 250,000 square miles (650,000 square km) in a structural basin lying mainly in southeastern Saudi Arabia, with lesser portions in Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest area of continuous sand in the world, occupying more than one-quarter of Saudi Arabia.

The topography is varied. In the west the elevation is as high as 2,000 feet (610 m) and the sand is fine and soft, while in the east the elevation drops to 600 feet.

Arid Desert States West of the Nile River, Sudan

16.8N 28.4E

April 5th, 2010 Category: Rivers

Sudan - March 5th, 2010

Sudan - March 5th, 2010

The dry desert areas west of the Nile River belong to the Sudanese wilayat (or states) of Northern (furthest north, as the name suggests), North Kurdafan (south of the former) and North Darfur (southwest of Northern state).

Northern (transliterated from the Arabic: ash-Shamaliyah) has an area of 348,765 km² and an estimated population of approximately 600,000 (2000). Dongola is the capital of the state.

North Kurdufan (transliterated: Shamal Kurdufan) has an area of 185,302 km² and an estimated population of approximately 1,400,000 (2000). Al-Ubayyid is the capital of the state. It is generally arid and desert.

Finally, North Darfur is one of the states composing the Darfur region. It has an area of 296,420 km² and an estimated population of approximately 1,583,000 (2006). Al-Fashir is the capital of the state.

Desert of Rub’ al Khali on the Arabian Peninsula

19.7N 49.9E

November 26th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Saudi Arabia - November 16th, 2009

Saudi Arabia - November 16th, 2009

The southern half of the Arabian Peninsula, including Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as parts of the United Arab Emirates and Oman, are visible here. Much of the area is occupied by the sand desert known as the Rub’ al Khali, or “Empty Quarter” in English.

It is one of the largest sand deserts in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including areas of all the countries mentioned above, with the exception of Qatar. In total, the desert covers some 650,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). It is 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long, and 500 kilometres (310 mi) wide.

Summer temperatures of nearly 55 °C (131 °F) and dunes over 330 metres (1,100 ft) make Rub’ al Kali one of the most forbidding environments on Earth. Geologically, the Empty Quarter is the second most oil-rich place in the world. Vast oil reserves have been discovered underneath the sand dunes.

Dunes of the Dasht-e Lut Desert, Iran

February 21st, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Dasht-e Lut Desert, Iran - February 15th, 2009

Dasht-e Lut Desert, Iran - February 15th, 2009

Iran’s geography consists of a plateau surrounded by mountains and divided into drainage basins. The Dasht-e Lut, a large salt desert in southeastern Iran, is one of the largest of these desert basins.

It is 480 kilometers (300 miles) long and 320 kilometers (200 miles) wide. The Dasht-e Lut has an area of about 51,800 square kilometers (20,000 mi²).

It is also one of the driest and hottest desert basins. Surface temperatures in the Lut desert were reported as high as 71 °C (159 °F), the hottest temperature ever recorded on the surface of the Earth.

This region, which covers an area of about 480 kilometers, is called Gandom Beriyan (the toasted wheat). Its surface is wholly matted with volcano lava. This dark cover absorbs excessive sunshine which, due to difference of temperature with neighboring elevations, forms a wind tunnel.

The eastern part of Dasht-e Lut is a low plateau covered with salt flats.

In contrast, the center has been sculpted by the wind into a series of parallel ridges and furrows, extending over 150 km (90 miles) and reaching 75 m (250 ft) in height.

This area is also riddled with ravines and sinkholes. The southeast is a vast expanse of sand, like a Saharan erg, with dunes 300 m (1000 ft) high, among the tallest in the world.

source Wikipedia

Dust Storm in Libya Spreads Sands into the Mediterranean

December 3rd, 2008 Category: Dust Storms

Dust Storm in Libya - December 3rd, 2008

Dust Storm in Libya - December 3rd, 2008

Detail of sands blowing off the coast of Libya

Detail of sands blowing off the coast of Libya

A large disturbance over the Mediterranean has caused several different atmospheric phenomena.

It has caused a dust storm in Libya, near the coastal city of Benghazi (or Benghasi).

Both white and red dust can be seen blowing off the coast and into the Mediterranean Sea, towards Sicily and Greece.

The area further from the coast from which the white sand comes is arid desert. The red dust, on the other hand, comes from just south of the more fertile coastal plains and mountains.

The storm has also brought cold and rain to Italy, obscured by clouds.

Animated imagery of storm movements

Animated imagery of storm movements

The animated imagery shows the storm’s movement. The disturbance that caused the dust storm is seen moving northward in the direction of Eastern Europe, while another is heading southeast towards Ireland, the United Kingdom and France.

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