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What are the big and little deserts in the world: map of sandy Victoria

samaya bolshaya pustynya v mire

One of those places where the climate is traditionally hot, the biggest desert in the world is Sugar. It stretches on the territory of such countries as Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and several others.

But in the world there are still a large number of desert sites, which affects their size. And, by the way, some of them are not hot.

What is a desert?

chto predstavlyaet iz sebya pustosh?

The concept of "wilderness" has many definitions. The most popular is the idea of desert as an area where the climate is dry, hot, and virtually no precipitation falls, there is almost no biological life, don't settle people.

Distinctive features

The traditional basis of the desert is a drought. Typically, these areas are far from the sea or protected from moisture by mountains.

Mountains do not allow rain clouds to reach the desert and life-giving water here does not get.

A significant influence on the formation of desert areas is having and the proximity to the equator, where the temperature is constantly so high that rainwater evaporates before reaching the soil.

23% of the land on Earth is desert. They are located in the Northern hemisphere (tropical, subtropical and temperate zone) and southern hemisphere (tropics and subtropics). Their main characteristic is the minimum amount of rainfall, sometimes reaching up to 50 mm per year. The driest region is located in South America.

The lack of population is typical for areas with very cold climate, also referred to as desert. Cold polar areas cover a huge area. Antarctic desert, for example – 13 829 430 km2.

osobennosti Antarktidy

The desert is diverse in its relief, among them are:

  • upland island mountains;
  • highlands;
  • plains;
  • the valleys of ancient rivers;
  • the dried basin of the lakes;
  • bizarre shapesformed by the winds.

Sometimes the desert is crossed by rivers, such as the Nile, yellow river, Amu Darya. Located on the territory of deserts lakes are drying up, change their shape and size. The territory of deserts, most often, closed. From bodies of water once existed remain a huge depression.

On Mangyshlak is one of the most deep – Karagiye, its bottom at 132 m below sea level.

otlichitelnye harakteristiki

Precipitation in the desert falls in winter or spring, only in Australia season of rains falls in the summer.

The temperature in deserts depends on the location and can vary from +50°C during the day to 0°C at night and in winter down to - 40C, however, frosts are characteristic for extratropical regions. Snow in the deserts do not exist.

The winds in the deserts – a special phenomenon. They are constant in frequency, duration, and direction. They have their own names:

  1. Sirocco in the Sahara;
  2. Khamsin and Ghibli in Libya and the Arabian;
  3. brickfielder in Australia;
  4. Afghan in the Central Asian regions.

The most terrible hurricanes, they are deadly to humans.

For deserts typical of mirages. They appear in deserts of all types, most often, in the afternoons, but sometimes at dawn. This optical phenomenon associated with the refraction of the sun's rays in layers of air of different density.

Amazing pictures that come with this, and it may be visions of palm trees, oases, and even cities, knocked in the right direction, not one experienced traveler, not to mention the beginners.

What are they?

The surfaces differ in the following types:

  • saline;
  • loess-clay;
  • sandy;
  • sandy loam;
  • rocky;
  • gravelly-plaster.

Usually found a combination of two or more types, does not exclude the presence in each species of the desert of its features.

Saline deserts are characterized by a high degreesalinity. Sometimes formed on the surface of the salt crust with a thickness of 10-15 cm This occurs in areas of intermittent or dry salt lakes.

Salt marshes can present a quagmire, capable of swallowing an animal or human.
A striking example is the desert of the Great Salt lake, located in North America. It has an area of 10 360 km2. It was formed in the late glacial period, because of the large salt desert is white. Above sea level of nearly 1300 m.


Desert clay is represented on all continents. This lifeless space with a superficial layer of smooth clay with cracks. The precipitate is instantly absorbed, and then the remaining top layer ceases to pass them inside. In the spring you can find small puddles of fresh water on the surface of the clay, but soon the water use of the bacteria, and then it evaporates from the heat.

Rocky deserts are also common on our planet. They are divided into:

  1. rocky;
  2. gravelly-pebbly;
  3. gravelly;
  4. gypsum.

Different rocky desert and terrain, from flat plateaus and plains to hills and ridges. Depending on the soil, the water either penetrates deeply into the soil where you do not get the plant roots or evaporates directly from the surface if the stones are tight.

About 70% of the Sahara is occupied rocky areas. They're called Hamadi.

And in the North of Libya is desert Hamada. This part of the Sahara, covered with large rubble stones, a plateau area of about 140 000 km2 on the altitude of 500 m above sea level.

The sandy desert we present first the word "desert." Occupying more than half of the area of all relevant territories in the world, they are diverse, different wind regime, the shape of the dunes, whose height can reach 300 meters, and some are covered with thickets of bushes and grass. The largest sandy desert of Takla-makan desert area of about 480 000 km2 and is located in China.

To tropical, the place of his position include the land between 15° and 30° North and South latitude, this means that the tropical desert is common in most areas than others.

The largest area in absolute terms, the desert is in Africa, it is 17 660 000 km2. And with respect to the area of the continent the largest desert in Australia, where more than 82% of the territory is desert, except for Antarctica, where so is the entire continent.

What is the largest desert area on Earth - map

karta krupnejshih pustynnyh mest

The Antarctic desert is the southernmost region of the globe and is the largest desert in the world. This is a huge area of the space (13 829 430 km2). Rainfall and humidity, or rather, the air is dry, it is comparable to the hottest spots of the planet.

In winter the temperature drops to -80°C, in summer is "up" to -20°C. As expected the desert, here, too, there are storms, but not sand, and snow.

Arctic desert is the most Northern natural area of the planet. It has an area of 2 600 000 km2, and is much warmer than in Antarctica. The average temperature in winter is -30°C and in summer can even be +3°C. Precipitation reaches 400 mm per year. Summer is often foggy in winter snow-storms.

The vegetation in the Arctic wilderness is there, but is represented mainly by mosses and lichens. The animal world is:

  • birds (in summer);
  • walrus;
  • seals;
  • polar bears;
  • foxes.


The Sahara is the largest hot desert on Earth, covering about 30% of the area of the African continent (area - 9 100 000 km2). She belongs to the mixed type deserts, but dominated by sandy and rocky. Every year its length is increased by 6-10 km in the South direction.

In the Sahara are oases, lakes, among which is as big as Chad. It crosses the majestic Nile and other rivers and streams that constitute the water system of the region. Discovered pools groundwater, including artesian water.

The relief of the desert is diverse: 25% of the territory is sand, about 70% of stony education, highlighted the saline pools and deep trenches where there are oases.

In the South of the Sahara, one can observe the phenomenon of "singing Sands" is an acoustic fluctuations arising from movements of the layers of sand.

afrikanskaya Sahara

The African vegetation of the Sahara are scarce, but in the oases people are growing fruit and olive trees. Among animals (and different species, including invertebrates, there are up to 4000), are:

  1. mouflon;
  2. baboonAnubis;
  3. ostrich;
  4. monitor lizard;
  5. horned Viper and so on.

The population of the Sahara are nomadic Berbers and the Tuareg.

Kalahari largest desert in southern Africa. About its existence the Russian children know of the poem K. Chukovsky's "Dr. Aibolit", because the good doctor was in a hurry to Africa to help sick animals that lived in the Kalahari.

The area of the Kalahari more than 600 000 km2, it is constantly increasing. It drops from 150 to 500 mm of precipitation per year, average summer temperature is +29°C, and winter - +12°C.

The fauna of the desert is very rich:

  • Zebra;
  • antelope;
  • giraffes;
  • lions;
  • leopards;
  • black rhinoceros;
  • ostriches;
  • snakes and many others.


Evrazijskie peski

The desert of the Arabian Peninsula is a complex of territories belonging to the countries of Eurasia, such as:

  1. Saudi Arabia;
  2. Jordan;
  3. Yemen;
  4. Iraq;
  5. Kuwait;
  6. UAE;
  7. Oman;
  8. Qatar.

Total area is about 2 300 000 km2 desert puts United into second place largest after the Sahara among the hottest places.

Daytime temperatures here reach up to +56°C, at night it can drop to -12°C. Few animals can withstand such harsh conditions, but there are gazelles, velvet cats, Oryx. In the extermination of some species, the person is guilty.

The rich depths of the Arabian desert, provide the prosperity of its States.

Gobi or the Great Mongolian desert is the greatest and most mysterious desert in Asia. Located on the territory of China and Mongolia. Its area of 1 300 000 km2. It drops to 300 mm of rain per year, above sea level of the Gobi rises to 900 m, and the winters here are very harsh (up to -40°C).

Geography define a variety of appearance of the regions of the Gobi. Among them are the steppe with high grass and rocky steppe, and desert classic.

In the Gobi desert for the first time unearthed and continue to find well-preserved bones of prehistoric animals.

The Syrian desert is located on the territory:

  • Syria;
  • Jordan;
  • Saudi Arabia;
  • Iraq.

Its area is about 450 000 km2, with sandy areas interspersed with steppe. The climate is subtropical, the average temperature in summer is +29°C, and in winter - +7°C. Precipitation in the South falls to about 80 mm per year in the North to 300 mm. annually, But frost can occur.

From plants, mostly there are shrubs and some herbs (saxaul, wormwood). Among animals: camels, donkeys, Syrian hamster. Lions and ostriches killed a man.

North and South America

Patagoniya v Amerike

The Patagonian desert is located in South America the Patagonian plateau on the Eastern slope of the Andes in Argentina, refers to the sandy-rocky type. Its altitude is 600-800 m, and covers an area of 400 000 km2. The desert stretches along the coast for 1600 km, presenting a stepped plateau, dissected by canyons.

The climate is dry (200 mm precipitation per year), there are frequent dry winds, and the temperature ranges from 13.4°C in summer to +5°C in winter.

Flora and fauna richness did not differ. Animals interesting:

  1. wild llama;
  2. battleship;
  3. Puma.

Large swimming pool – the largest in North America desert highlands (in the territory of the US). Its area is more than 500 000 km2. The district has no flow and is one of the driest areas on the mainland. Here is the Great salt lake and salt flats.

The Atacama is located in Chile. This desert is recognized as the driest place on Earth. On average, there is 1 mm of rain per year. Humidity - 0%, and there are facts confirming that from 1570 to 1971 appreciable precipitation in the area was not at all.

The local mountains have no glaciers, although their height 6885 m, and continuous permafrost must begin with 4400 mA

Desert of Chihuahua – located near the US border with Mexico. For its size (362 600 km2), it ranks second in North America. This arid plain, which is crossed by a mountain range, its height above sea level from 600 to 1,675 m, which has an impact on the climate. In summer the temperature reaches +40°C, annual precipitation not higher than 254 mm.


  • Victoria – a large desert with an area of 424 400 km2 of sandy-saline type. Is a biosphere reserve and protected area. The temperature in summer rises to +40°C in winter to +23°C. To 20 times a year, there are thunderstorms, but rainfall for the year does not exceed 200 mm In the desert are home to several aboriginal groups.
  • avstralijskaya Viktoriya

  • Great Sandy desert is the secondthe largest on the continent. Its area of 360,000 km2. This is the hottest region of Australia, where the average summer temperature is +35°C, and winter - +20°C. On the territory of the desert is a few dry up in summer lakes and national Park Rudall river.

Interesting facts

  1. The smallest desert in the world called Carcross, situated on the North-West Canada (Yukon) at the base of Alaska. The desert area is 2.6 sq. km Carcross usually consider the desert, but in fact these are just a few of the Northern sand dunes.

    The sand was formed during the ice age, when it formed large lakes and settled sludge. After drying of the lakes, the dunes remained. In our days the wind carries the Sands here preferably of lake Bennett in the vicinity. The climate here is very humid.

  2. There grows a lot of plants, there are also unusual species such as the Yukon lupine, Baikal sedge and many others.

  3. The largest desert in Russia – Ryn-Peski is situated on the watershed of the Volga and the Ural in the Caspian lowland. It has an area of about 40,000 km2, the main surface of the dunes to 13 m tall, made of red and yellow sand containing sea shells. The climate is continental, rainfall is 250 mm per year.
  4. The biggest desert in Europe is Oleshkivski Sands in the Kherson region. Represent the 7 sections of dunes, sandy hillocks with sparse vegetation, with an area of about 6,000 km2. Formed in the late nineteenth century as a result of the destruction of soil holding vegetation by grazing sheep.

See also this video about the most unusual places in the deserts: