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Posts tagged Empty Quarter

The “Empty Quarter” of the Arabian Peninsula

20.4N 45.7E

February 20th, 2013 Category: Deserts

Saudi Arabia – February 19th, 2013

The Rub’ al Khali or Empty Quarter is the largest sand desert in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including most of Saudi Arabia and areas of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The desert covers some 650,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi).

The desert is 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) long, and 500 kilometres (310 mi) wide. Its surface elevation varies from 800 metres (2,600 ft) in the southwest to around sea level in the northeast. The terrain is covered with sand dunes with heights up to 250 metres (820 ft), interspersed with gravel and gypsum plains.

The sand is a usually reddish-orange color in some areas due to the presence of feldspar. However, here, its sands appear bright whitish tan in color here due to the infrared bands of the sensor used to capture the image. There are also brackish salt flats in some areas, such as the Umm al Samim area on the desert’s eastern edge.

Plume of Dust Over Salalah, Oman

17.0N 54.0E

December 4th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms

Oman – December 2nd, 2012

This image shows the coastal part of the Dhofar Governorate, in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. It is a rather mountainous area that covers 99,300 km2 (38,300 sq mi).

Dhofar is directly exposed to the South East monsoon from mid-June to mid-September. As a result, it has a lush green climate during the monsoon season and for sometime after until the vegetation loses its moisture. Dhofar’s temporarily wet climate contrasts sharply with the neighboring barren Empty Quarter Desert.

The largest city, as well as capital of the Governorate is Salalah, located by the coast near the image center. Here, a plume of dust extends over Salalah, off the coast, and over the Arabian Sea.

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.

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.

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