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Questions tagged [desert]

concerned with the formation of deserts (areas receiving very little precipitation) and processes occurring specifically within deserts

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641 views

What is this big Black Mass in Syria, as seen on google maps? [duplicate]

What is this big black dot on the satellite view of google maps, located in Syria at about 4:00 from Damascus?
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1answer
240 views

Is this a former volcano in the Hamad Plateau, in the Syrian desert?

On my random explorations of google maps, I came across this interesting terrain: (link to map here) Apparently, this is part of the so-called Hamad Plateau, in the Syrian desert. If so, the rock ...
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103 views

Reversing the desertification

What will be the effect on a desert-like area if it is covered with millions of umbrella-like structures like the following one? Would it play any positive role in reversing the desertification?
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0answers
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What are those flat areas in this desert formation seen from orbit? [duplicate]

(Google Earth at 19°58'49.87" N 53°38'09.51" E) Related to: What produces these distinct shapes in the Rub' al Khali seen from space? What is the flat (?) green/blue-ish terrain in between the ...
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1answer
40 views

Are there areas of desert sands which experience blizzards?

Building off of another question I recently asked (Is there sand in Antarctica?) I want to ask a broader question coming from the same motive described there. Are there desert sands that experience ...
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43 views

Global climate change

We all know that global climate change is becoming a big real change that is affecting the world's ecosystems and life cycles. Will global climate change affect the hot areas of the world or deserts ...
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2answers
1k views

What percentage of Earth's surface is arid?

Is there available information on how much of Earth surface is arid climate?
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2answers
247 views

Is Atacama Desert cloudy or cloudless most of the year?

I saw many contradictions everywhere. For example, my geography textbook says that Atacama Desert is a desert where foggy weather is common, and it persists almost the whole year. Whereas every ...
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4answers
5k views

Why are many fossils found in deserts?

Why are deserts famous for fossils? Is it a coincidence? Some examples: Giant Catfish Fossil Found in Egyptian Desert Chile's stunning fossil whale graveyard explained Giant Dinosaur Fossil Found ...
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1answer
163 views

What are these features in the Tombouctou Region?

I’ve recently been very interested in globe-trotting via Google Earth. At first I was using it to plan out hikes to possible mineral deposits locally, or potential fossils/ archeology sites. However I ...
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1answer
63 views

Can the formation of gypsum evaporites (sand roses) be simulated in the lab?

Has the process of formation of sand roses been simulated in laboratory conditions, or does it take too long?
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1answer
508 views

Hypothetically, would digging a big trench from the ocean and flooding desert areas be a bad solution to combatting sea level rise? [duplicate]

My question is basically the title. Ignoring most of the feasibility of the enormous engineering and earthmoving requirements (I guess I mean to say, given an unlimited budget) in very hot areas, ...
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2answers
309 views

When was the first desert formed?

For how long have deserts existed and which one would be the first to be created? I'm talking about arid, dry deserts, not the Antarctic or Arctic or any other icy deserts.
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1answer
142 views

Is there any place on Earth that is permanently a desert?

I am interested to know if there is any place on Earth that is permanently a desert (except Antarctica). By permanent I do not mean to be the physical meaning of forever. It means the place has to be ...
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1answer
1k views

What is this weird looking structure in Ethiopian desert?

I was surfing through Google Maps around Ethiopian desert region (close to the town of Werder/Wardheer) and I found this weird looking structure. It seems like a dried up lake bed, but I can't guess ...
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4answers
6k views

Was Judea as desertified 2000 years ago as it is now?

The ancient fortress of Masada is currently so dry and forbidding that is hard to imagine anyone living there. Was the climate in the surrounding area more wet 2000 years ago, or was it as much a ...
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1answer
169 views

Identifying a desert landform

I saw this landform on Google Earth on the border of Algeria/Tunisia/Libya and wondered what it is called (so that I can read up on it and find out how it forms - I am not a geologist): Here is a 3D ...
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1answer
1k views

Why do the vast majority of the world's deserts fall on the tropic of capricorn or cancer?

I noticed on google maps today that the earth has two very distinct regions on which the majority of deserts are located. These fall on the tropic of capricorn and cancer. Illustrated here: What ...
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1answer
444 views

Desalination and Weather Impact?

I have a question I've always been curious about regarding the topic. As I understand it, the desalination process is that they take the salt water, create usable water from it and then salt sludge ...
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1answer
243 views

Large scale structures in the Sahara – what are they?

In Google Earth we can see some very clear lines in the Sahara. In the screenshot below you can clearly see these lines starting at the top going southward, then gently curving westward towards the ...
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0answers
124 views

Desert greening - Do we have long term (several decades) data on precipitation around the Sahara?

This article of desert greening states that some areas around the Sahara have seen increased plant growth in recent decades, caused by global warming. The causal chain would be warmer air can hold ...
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5answers
3k views

Where did the sand in the Sahara come from?

If the Sahara used to be fertile and has since experienced minimal rainfall causing the current desert conditions, where did all the sand come from? I assume the original dirt is still there, just ...
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4answers
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What would be the effect of bringing seawater pipes to the Sahara desert?

This is a childhood dream. What would happen if pipes were installed (similar in principle to the Great Man-Made River, but for seawater) to continuously pump seawater into the Sahara desert. Let'...
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3answers
508 views

In general, does the presence of vegetation increase/decrease gross water loss (evapotranspiration) compared to barren land (evaporation only)?

I am doing some literature review on desertification. However, I could not find any information related to my question. Based on my knowledge, barren land faced greater heating and wind than vegetated ...
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1answer
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Is there a buildup of static electricity in a sandstorm?

In a sandstorm, is there a buildup of static electricity? If so, does that produce lightning strikes? Also if you were to be inside the storm what would the build of that level of static feel like?
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515 views

Seeking details for the “historical rate” of arable land loss

In doing research on the issue of desertification (aka land degradation) I keep running across the same basic sentence but no source or detail to support or clarify it: "Arable land loss is ...
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1answer
115 views

Possibility to influence oceanic evaporation to protect Sahel/Sahara [closed]

When reading about the projects that want to plant trees on the Sahel-Sahara border, for protection of the Sahel, I wonder what other possibilities there are. Like, would it be possible to influence ...
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1answer
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Why is the Sahara so much larger than the other horse latitude deserts?

Every continent has a dry strip between about 15º and 35º on its west coast, but they vary drastically in size: The Baja/Mojave and Atacama are fairly narrow, stretching about 300 miles inland at the ...
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1answer
121 views

Cell Size of Salt Pan Tessellations

Salt Pans (such as in Badwater Basin of Death Valley, California) often show a tessellation pattern which forms presumably due to contraction of the deposited salt crust forming irregular cracks ...
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1answer
207 views

How important is Sahara dust for the Amazon?

A recent article by Yu et al. estimated that 28 million tons of dust from the Sahara fall to the surface over the Amazon basin per year out of the 132 million tons that remain in the air when the dust ...
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2answers
768 views

What are these lake-like blue patches in the desert, visible in satellite image?

I found some blue patches in the Arabian desert in Google Earth. It looks like as if they were lakes with sand dunes rising out of the water. But there isn't water in the desert, at least not this ...
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1answer
300 views

What is this strange feature on Mars in Valles Marineris

While I was browsing Mars on Google Earth, I stumbled upon an interesting feature on one of the slopes of Valles Marineris. The feature seems unique in the sense that I couldn't find any similar ...
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3answers
3k views

How will climate change affect the extent of the Sahara Desert?

Will it increase the size of it? (perhaps by increasing the extent of the Hadley Cells)?
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1answer
108 views

Does over-cropping large areas really change the amount of rainfall?

I heard that at one time the Sahara desert was cropped in wheat for the Roman Empire, and that cropping without adding back to the soil was what caused the desert to form. I also heard that this is ...
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1answer
167 views

Fine particulate matter - Why the lack of attention? What can be done to tackle it?

If fine particulate matter as a pollutant from industrial or natural sources (e.g. a desert) can be such a cause for concern in terms of (further) desertification as well as health impacts, is there a ...
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1answer
252 views

Are sandstorms like regular storms?

What's the difference between sandstorms and regular storms? Are they more than just strong wind within deserts?