Saturday, December 20, 2014

Major and Prominent Deserts of the World - World Geography

1. Sahara Desert: It is a hot desert situated in northern part of Africa. The world’s highest temperature (in Al-Aziziyah) has been recorded in this desert. In Sahara Desert, Tibesti Massif, Ahaggar and Air Mountains Plateau are important landforms. The sand of this desert is Red in colour. Wind has created many landforms in this desert, like-Qattara Depression. Many ‘Oasis’ are also found here like-Siwa Oasis, Kharga oasis. It is world’s largest desert. It is rich in petroleum deposits. 

2. Arabian Desert (Eastern Desert): It lies to the east of River Nile. It is a hot desert lies along the Tropic of Cancer in Egypt between the Nile River and the Red Sea. It is rich in petroleum deposits. Wind has created many landform in this desert. The vegetation comprises thorny bushes, Cactus and Acacia. As it receives less than 20 cm. rainfall annually, it is sparsely populated. 

3. Nubian Desert: Situated in Sudan, it is a hot and dry desert. Due to high temperature, the population density of this regions is extremely low. Average rainfall is just 20 cm. Here a few migratory tribes live in the oasis who migrate in search of water and fodder. 

4. Kalahari Desert: It is stretching between South Africa and Botswana containing red sand, it is a very dry and hot desert. The Bushman tribe is found in this desert area. The fastest running bird, Ostrich, are found in Kalahari Desert. It is spread in an area of about 5.20 lakh sq. km. Recording scanty rainfall, the natural vegetation consists of grasses, Cactus and Acacia. It is sparsely inhabited by the Bushman (Saan) who are tribal people largely in hunting stage of economic development. 

5. Namib Desert: This hot desert lying in Namibia spreads over an area of 3.10 lakh sq. km. it has originated due to the influence of cold Benguela Current. The presence of Benguela Current to the west of this desert results in to heavy foggy condition along its western coastal region. It is rich in deposits of Diamond and Tungsten. Average rainfall is just 20 cm. Inhabited by the primitive tribes, it is a relatively less developed part of Africa. 

6. Arizona Desert: It is situated in Arizona and Nevada State of U.S.A. It is a hot and dry desert. World’s tallest Cactus are found in this desert. Space Shuttles are also land here during emergency. 

7. Sonoran Desert: Located in Mexico, it is the largest desert of North America. Its origin is due to the impact of cold California Current. Very tall Cactus are found here. Most part of this desert is reserved for park area. It is sparsely populated and characterized by the Saguaro vegetation. 

8. Western Desert: It is a part of the Sahara Desert stretching over Libya and Egypt. It has several depression of enormous size. It name is associated with heavy fighting between Allied forces and the Axis power during the Second World War. 

9. Atacama Desert: Stretched in North Chile, it is world’s driest desert. Huge reserves of Nitrate are found here. Situated along the Tropic of Capricorn in Chile, it is one of the most arid desert of the world. Several parts of it have not recorded any rainfall for the last more than 400 years. Important mineral obtained from Atacama Desert is Copper which is found in ‘Chuquicamata’. It is the world’s largest copper producing region. 

10. Patagonia Desert: Stretched in Argentina, it is South America’s largest stony temperature desert. Its shape is steplike. Its heights is up to 1500m. Lying on the leeward side, it is a barren region except in the river valley where Grapes, fruits vegetables and fodder are grown. It has rich deposits of petroleum and natural gas.

11. Dasht-e-Kavir:  It is located in north-eastern part of Iran. In the plateau region, Dasht-e-Kavir is a frost desert, which is difficult to cross. Because its sand contains salt, it Is also called ‘Daryacheh-ye-Namak’, or ‘Great Salty Desert’. 

12. Libya Desert: Spread in Libya, it is a part of Sahara Desert. It is extremely dry and hot desert. It is very rich in petroleum and natural gas. Many ‘Oasis’ are also found here. 

13. Great Sandy Desert: it is stretched in north-western region of Australia. It is also known as ‘Canning Basin’. It is extremely hot and dry desert. Many small salt water lakes are found in it. This desert lies along the Tropic of Capricorn. 

14. Victoria Desert: It is a semi-desert stretched in western part of Western Australia. Many minerals are found here, like-Gold, Iron-Ore, Copper, Coal and natural gas. 

15. Gobi Desert: It is stretched in China and Mongolia. It is world’s largest cold desert. Extreme winter (-26 degree C) occur in this desert. It is an sparsely inhabited desert has very little population only in the oasis where water of people and animal is available. The average rainfall here is less than 10cm. Snowfall occurs here in winter. Gobi literally means ‘stony desert’. 

16. Taklamakan Desert: It is a temperate desert stretched in Tarim Basin in north-western part of China. It is a centre of Buddhist civilization and culture. It is nearly a desolate region intense cold. The term Taklamakan was coined by Marco Polo, who declared it as one of the driest desert of the world. 

17. Thar desert: stretched in India and Pakistan, it is a hot and dry desert. It is famous for its tall sand-dunes. It is also a potential region for petroleum and natural gas. 

18. Simpson Desert: It is situated in central part of Australia. It is a hot and dry desert. It has huge reserves of natural gas. It is very sparsely populated by the Aboriginals who are still in the hunting and food gathering stage. This desert it a less developed region of Australia. 

19. Sturt Stony Desert: It is situated on the boundary of South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland States of Australia. It is a hot and dry desert. It is a stony desert. 

20. Rub-al-Khali (Empty Quarter): it is a large hot desert of Saudi Arabia. Repeated sand clusters are found here. From this point of view, it is the world’s largest sandy desert. It is rich in petroleum deposits. It is one of the most sparsely populated areas of the world. The nomads of this desert are known as ‘Bedouins’. 

21. Lop Nur Desert: It is a temperate desert stretched in west-south part of China. It is also China’s Atomic test ground. It is nearly desolate because of intense cold prevailing here. 

22. Dasht-e-Lut: It is stretched in south-eastern part of Iran. It is a hot desert. Date palm trees are found in it. Iran’s ancient town ‘Bam’ is situated in it. 

23. Karakum Desert: It is a temperate desert situated in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The colour of the sand of this desert is Black. Due to availability of irrigation, Watermelon, Muskmelon, Cucumber, Maize, Cotton etc. are cultivated here. ‘Karakum Canal’ facilitates irrigation in this desert. 

24. Kyzyl Kum Desert: It is a temperate desert stretched in Uzbekistan. Due to availability of irrigation, Watermelon, Muskmelon, Cucumber, Cotton etc. are cultivated here. The colour of its sand is Red. It is spread between Syr and Amu Rivers. 

25. Mojave Desert: It is a hot desert lying to at the western coast of U.S.A. It has originated due to the influence of cold California Current. This desert has strategic importance. Many bases of U.S. Air force are located in it. The Grand Canyons and Mead Lake are its great attraction. It is characterized with Saguaro Cactus and thorny bushes. 

26. An-Nafud Desert: It is a hot and dry desert  situated in Saudi Arabia. It is rich in petroleum. Date palm is found in its oasis regions. 

27. Nevada Desert: It is stretched in western U.S.A. It is also America’s nuclear testing ground. This desert part of famous for tall and thick Cactus. 

28. Gibson Desert: It is lying to the south of Lake Disappointment in Western Australia. It is a hot and dry desert. It is stretched in tropical high pressure region. 

29. Sahel: It is a semi-desertic region lying to the south of Sahara Desert. In this region, human population and vegetation is comparatively more. It is drought prone area. Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan etc. are located in Sahel. Savannah type of grasses are found here. 

30. Great Basin: It is situated in western part of U.S. between Rocky Mountain and Coast Range. This is an arid and semi-arid basin in the Sierra Nevada and Utah State. This basin includes the ‘Death Valley and the Mojave Desert. To protect limestone caverns, sage brush, Alpine Meadows, unique forest and glacial lakes, the ‘Great Basin National Park’ was established in 1986.

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