More About the Sahara Desert
North Africa's Sahara Desert, stands as one of the most amazing wonders of the World. Learning bits and pieces about the Sahara will help you understand the constant changes that happens to its landforms as well as the reasons behind its geographical distinction.
The Sahara Desert is one of nature's wonders. It is the hottest and the largest desert in the world. It is situated in North Africa, extending from the Atlantic Ocean eastward towards the Red Sea and Iraq. It is about 5000 km. stretching from east to west.
This desert covers around 9,000,000 square kilometers. The overall area is as big as continental United States. The boundaries are not clear and continuous to change for thousands of years. The landforms go through constant changes as well.
Studies show that the desert can either shrink or grow in size. These landforms are shaped as indicated by the direction of the wind and irregular rainfalls. The limits of the Sahara Desert are as follows:
- Atlantic Ocean on its West
- Mediterranean Sea and the Atlas Mountains and the Atlas Mountains in the North
- Egypt and the Red Sea in the East and the
- Valley of the Niger River and Sudan in the South
West Sahara is geographically distinct. Its plateaus have different heights that would range from 1900 ft. up to 2500 ft. Its plateau regions are also oftentimes called:
Central Ahaggar Mountains and the
Notable peaks are as follows:
- Emi Koussi in the Tibesti Massif - it is the highest peak. (3415 m/11,204 ft.)
- Tahat in Ahaggar Range - 3003 m/ 9852 ft.
The Libyan Desert lies in the east. It is the driest part of the Sahara. Humidity is totally absent in this place and few oases exist. This land is actually characterized with big dunes of sand and sandy wastes.
The West Sahara Desert has rocky plains and sand deserts of different heights. It has a number of underground rivers that flow fast from the Atlas and towards the other mountains.
Sometimes, these river's waters find the way onto the surface. In these noted irrigated oases, the plants freely grow. In fact, the soil in this region is very fertile and it can produce outstanding crops.
The Nile River and the Nubian Desert onto the East of the Nile are part of the Sahara as well. The irrigation transforms the desert into fertile farming land throughout Egypt. In the Sahara Desert, annual rainfall, within various regions, is noticeable. There are different climates in different regions such as:
subtropical climate in the northern land
tropical climate in the southern area
Climate in the Sahara Desert undergo changes through the passing of time. In fact, this desert is known for its harsh climates. The temperature would even become 30oC. During the hottest months, the temperature even exceeds 50oC. During the winter, the temperature drops below freezing points.
There are only a few species of animals living in the Sahara Desert. This includes the following:
Moreover, the Sahara Desert has about 500 species of flora. These living organisms primarily consist of ephemeral plants known as the Acheb. In other oases near the Nile Valley, you can find olive trees growing. Plants can also be found in areas where the ground water reaches the surface of the land.
You will also find some of the tallest sand dunes in this desert. These sand dunes can reach to about 189 meters tall. The land area also has:
large gravel plains
dry valleys and
Furthermore, several nomadic groups of people can be seen in this place. They actually move from one place to another. These people wear a particular headdress known as HOWLI. Trading and hunting are their source of income and food. Due to the difficult conditions in the Sahara Desert, the population here is quite low.
Thus, farming is also practiced in certain areas. This is with the aid of drought-resistant plants. Other area of this land is currently being transformed so as to prevent soil erosion.
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Is prop/engine feathering physically possible to see? Like when the Lady Be Good crashed and they could tell.
I'm reading a book on the WWII bomber Lady Be Good, which crashed in the Libyan desert. The inspectors found that 3 of her engines were feathered, or stopped I guess, before she crashed. How could they tell?
a picture is worth a thousand words...see:
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