Thursday, 24 March 2011

Top 10 Largest Deserts in The World (by Area)

This is a Top 10 Largest Deserts in The World (by Area). It includes all deserts with an area greater than 50,000 square kilometres (19,300 sq mi).

10. Great Basin Desert

Type of desert : Cold Winter

Area (km²) : 492,000

Area(sq mi) : 190,000

Location : United States

The Great Basin Desert is an area of nearctic high deserts across parts of Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho and Utah that extends into the Colorado River watershed (Clark & Lincoln counties on the southwest), but which is mostly a portion of the central Nevada desert basins of the much larger Great Basin. The predominant flora are mostly of the Atriplex genus (lowest elevations) and sagebrush (higher) (shadscale is also common). Parts of the area have a cold desert climate, particularly where the ranges provide rain shadow for the northern basins/valleys.

09. Syrian Desert

Type of desert : Subtropical

Area (km²) : 520,000

Area(sq mi) : 200,000

Location : Syria, Jordan and Iraq

Syrian Desert by NASA World Wind
The Syrian Desert (Arabic: بادية الشام, b?diyat ash-sh?m‎), also known as the Syro-Arabian desert is a combination of steppe and true desert that is located in the northern Arabian Peninsula covering 200,000 square miles.

08. Great Victoria Desert

Type of desert : Subtropical

Area (km²) : 647,000

Area(sq mi) : 250,000

Location : Australia

The Great Victoria is the biggest desert in Australia and consists of many small sandhills, grassland plains, areas with a closely packed surface of pebbles (called desert pavement or gibber plains) and salt lakes. It is over 700 kilometres (430 mi) wide (from west to east) and covers an area of 424,400 square kilometres (163,900 sq mi) from the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia to the Gawler Ranges in South Australia.

07. Patagonian Desert

Type of desert : Cold Winter

Area (km²) : 670,000

Area(sq mi) : 260,000

Location : Argentina and Chile

The Patagonian Desert is the largest continental landmass of the 40° parallel and is a large cold winter desert, where the temperature rarely exceeds 12°C and averages just 3°C. The region experiences about seven months of winter and five months of summer. Frost is not uncommon in the desert but, due to the very dry condition year round, snow is

06. Kalahari Desert

Type of desert : Subtropical

Area (km²) : 900,000

Area(sq mi) : 360,000

Location : Angola, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa

The Kalahari supports some animals and plants because most of it is not a true desert. There are small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is very high. It usually receives 3–7.5 inches (76–190 mm) of rain per year. The surrounding Kalahari Basin covers over 2,500,000 square kilometres (970,000 sq mi) extending farther into Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and encroaching into parts of Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest, forming marshes that are rich in wildlife.

05. Gobi Desert

Type of desert : Cold Winter

Area (km²) : 1,300,000

Area(sq mi) : 500,000

Location : Mongolia and China

The Gobi (Mongolian: ????, Govi, “semidesert”; Chinese: ??; pinyin: G?b?) is a large desert region in Asia. It covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, and by the North China Plain to the southeast. The Gobi is most notable in history as part of the great Mongol Empire, and as the location of several important cities along the Silk Road

04. Arabian Desert

Type of desert : Subtropical

Area (km²) : 2,330,000

Area(sq mi) : 900,000

Location : Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen

The Arabian Desert is a vast desert wilderness stretching from Yemen to the Persian Gulf and Oman to Jordan and Iraq. At its centre is the Rub’al-Khali, one of the largest continuous bodies of sand in the world. Gazelles, oryx, sand cats, and spiny-tailed lizards are just some of the desert-adapted species that survive in this extreme environment, which features everything from red dunes to deadly quicksand. The climate is extremely dry, and temperatures oscillate between extreme heat and seasonal night time freezes. It is part of the Deserts and xeric shrublands biome and the Palearctic ecozone.

03. Arctic

Type of desert : Polar

Area (km²) : 2,600,000+

Area(sq mi) : -

Location : Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Russia

The area can be defined as north of the Arctic Circle (66° 33?N), the approximate limit of the midnight sun and the polar night. Alternatively, it can be defined as the region where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10 °C (50 °F); the northernmost tree line roughly follows the isotherm at the boundary of this region.

02. Sahara

Type of desert : Subtropical

Area (km²) : 9 100,000+

Area(sq mi) : 3,320,000+

Location : Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara

The desert landforms of the Sahara are shaped by wind or by occasional rains and include sand dunes and dune fields or sand seas (erg), stone plateaus (hamada), gravel plains (reg), dry valleys, and salt flats (shatt or chott). Unusual landforms include the Richat Structure in Mauritania. Several deeply dissected mountains and mountain ranges, many volcanic, rise from the desert, including the Aïr Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains, Adrar des Iforas, and the Red Sea hills. The highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a shield volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad.

01. Antarctic Desert

Type of desert : Polar

Area (km²) : 13,829,430

Area(sq mi) : 5,339,573

Location : Antarctica

Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 inches) along the coast and far less inland. There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Only cold-adapted plants and animals survive there, including penguins, seals, nematodes, tardigrades, mites, many types of algae and other microorganisms, and tundra vegetation


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