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What is a Desert

By Ryan Fyfe

A desert is a landscape region that receives very little precipitation. For a peice of land to be classified as a desert it must receive less than 250 mm of precipitation per year. Because of such a low level of precipitation deserts are known for supporting very little forms of life. With that said though, with a closer look deserts still have a wide variety of life. These desert creatures normally remain hidden, especially true during the daylight hours, to preserver moisture.

Roughly one third of the world's land surface is desert. Most commonly deserts around the world have similar characteristics. Sand Dunes can often times be present in deserts as the desert soil is mostly comprised of sand. Typically rocky terrain will be exposed in certain regions, which will reveal a sparseness of vegetation, and soil development. Wind driven forces are major factors in what shape desert landscapes.

Some of the largest and most known deserts in the world include:

Sahara

Kalahari

Namib

Judean Desert

Simpson Desert

Great Sandy Desert

Sturt's Stony Desert

Little Desert

Taklamakan

Rangipo Desert

Often times, deserts contain valuable mineral deposits. These are often regions that were formed in the arid environment or that were exposed by erosion. Deserts are also ideal locations for human artifacts and fossils to be preserved because of their dry climate.

Most of the major deserts of the world are trade wind deserts which means that: dry winds dissipate cloud cover, which in turn allows more sunlight to heat the land. The second largest desert in the world, the Sahara of North Africa, which has seen temperatures as high as 56"C, is a trade wind desert.

About The Author
Ryan Fyfe is the owner and operator of One Desert - http://www.desert-1.com, which is the best site on the internet for all desert related information.


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