Named deserts of Australia cover 1,371,000 square kilometres (529,000 sq mi), or 18% of the Australian mainland. However, approximately 35% of the Australian continent receives so little rain it is effectively desert. The deserts in Australia are primarily distributed throughout the western plateau and interior lowlands of the country.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
The continent of Australia, sometimes known in technical contexts by the names Sahul, Australinea or Meganesia to distinguish it from the country of Australia, consists of the land masses which sit on Australia's continental plate. This includes mainland Australia, Tasmania, and the island of New Guinea. Situated in the geographical region of Oceania, it is the smallest of the seven traditional continents in the English conception.
A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation. About one-third of the land surface of the world is arid or semi-arid. This includes much of the polar regions where little precipitation occurs and which are sometimes called polar deserts or "cold deserts". Deserts can be classified by the amount of precipitation that falls, by the temperature that prevails, by the causes of desertification or by their geographical location.
By international standards, Australian deserts receive relatively high rates of rainfall. mm of average annual rainfall. The deserts of Australia, particularly in the interior, lack any significant summer rains.No weather station situated in an arid region records less than 100
Deserts are not necessarily completely devoid of vegetation, but have large areas where vegetation is very limited in height or extent.
|Desert||State/Territory||Area (km2)||Area (miles2)||Area Rank||% of Australia|
|Great Victoria Desert||Western Australia, South Australia||348,750 km2||134,650 sq mi||1||4.5%|
|Great Sandy Desert||Western Australia||267,250 km2||103,190 sq mi||2||3.5%|
|Tanami Desert||Western Australia, Northern Territory||184,500 km2||71,200 sq mi||3||2.4%|
|Simpson Desert||Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia||176,500 km2||68,100 sq mi||4||2.3%|
|Gibson Desert||Western Australia||156,000 km2||60,000 sq mi||5||2.0%|
|Little Sandy Desert||Western Australia||111,500 km2||43,100 sq mi||6||1.5%|
|Strzelecki Desert||South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales||80,250 km2||30,980 sq mi||7||1.0%|
|Sturt Stony Desert||South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales||29,750 km2||11,490 sq mi||8||0.3%|
|Tirari Desert||South Australia||15,250 km2||5,890 sq mi||9||0.2%|
|Pedirka Desert||South Australia||1,250 km2||480 sq mi||10||0.016%|
The Great Victoria Desert lies in Western Australia and South Australia. It is over 800 kilometres (500 mi) wide and covers an area of 348,750 square kilometres (134,650 sq mi).
Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.
South Australia is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and fifth largest by population. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second largest centre, has a population of 28,684.
The Gibson Desert lies in central Western Australia. The desert is about 156,000 square kilometres (60,000 sq mi) in size. Most of the inhabitants of the area are Indigenous Australians.
Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous peoples on the continent and nearby islands is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.
The Western Desert cultural bloc or just Western Desert is a cultural region in central Australia covering about 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq mi), including the Gibson Desert, the Great Victoria Desert, the Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. The Western Desert cultural bloc can be said to stretch from the Nullarbor in the south to the Kimberley in the north, and from the Percival Lakes in the west through to the Pintupi lands in the Northern Territory.
Australia's climate is mostly determined by the hot, sinking air of the subtropical high pressure belt.Dry conditions are associated with an El Niño–Southern Oscillation in Australia. Vegetation in arid areas is primarily dependent upon soil type.
Australia's climate is governed mostly by its size and by the hot, sinking air of the subtropical high pressure belt. This moves north and south with the seasons. The climate is variable, with frequent droughts lasting several seasons, thought to be caused in part by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. Australia has a wide variety of climates due to its large geographical size. The largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid. Only the south-east and south-west corners have a temperate climate and moderately fertile soil. The northern part of the country has a tropical climate, varying between tropical rainforests, grasslands and desert.
El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an irregularly periodic variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, affecting the climate of much of the tropics and subtropics. The warming phase of the sea temperature is known as El Niño and the cooling phase as La Niña. The Southern Oscillation is the accompanying atmospheric component, coupled with the sea temperature change: El Niño is accompanied by high air surface pressure in the tropical western Pacific and La Niña with low air surface pressure there. The two periods last several months each and typically occur every few years with varying intensity per period.
Extensive areas are covered by longitudinal dunes. Forty percent of Australia is covered by dunes. mm of rainfall each year. |title=Deserts and Desert EnvironmentsCentral Australia is very dry, averaging 150
Many introduced species have affected the fauna and flora of Australia's desert regions. The Australian feral camel affects native vegetation. This is partly because Australian desert vegetation evolved without any major herbivores present.Uncontrolled access to more sensitive areas by four-wheel-drive vehicles is also an issue.
The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savanna in Southern Africa extending for 900,000 square kilometres (350,000 sq mi), covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia and regions of South Africa.
The Simpson Desert is a large area of dry, red sandy plain and dunes in Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland in central Australia. It is the fourth-largest Australian desert, with an area of 176,500 km2 (68,100 sq mi) and is the world's largest sand dune desert.
Yemen is located in Southwest Asia, at the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. It is situated at the entrance to the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which links the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean and is one of the most active and strategic shipping lanes in the world. Yemen has an area of 527,970 square kilometres (203,850 sq mi), including the islands of Perim at the southern end of the Red Sea and Socotra at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden. Yemen's land boundaries total 1,746 kilometres (1,085 mi). Yemen borders Saudi Arabia to the north and Oman to the northeast.
Mauritania, a country in the western region of the continent of Africa, is generally flat, its 1,030,700 square kilometres forming vast, arid plains broken by occasional ridges and clifflike outcroppings. It borders the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara, Mali and Algeria. It is considered part of both the Sahel and the Maghreb. A series of scarps face southwest, longitudinally bisecting these plains in the center of the country. The scarps also separate a series of sandstone plateaus, the highest of which is the Adrar Plateau, reaching an elevation of 500 metres. Spring-fed oases lie at the foot of some of the scarps. Isolated peaks, often rich in minerals, rise above the plateaus; the smaller peaks are called guelbs and the larger ones kedias. The concentric Guelb er Richat is a prominent feature of the north-central region. Kediet ej Jill, near the city of Zouîrât, has an elevation of 1,000 metres and is the highest peak.
The Great Sandy Desert (GSD) is an interim Australian bioregion, located in the north west of Western Australia straddling the Pilbara and southern Kimberley regions. It is the second largest desert in Australia after the Great Victoria Desert and encompasses an area of 284,993 square kilometres (110,036 sq mi). The Gibson Desert lies to the south and the Tanami Desert lies to the east of the Great Sandy Desert.
The desert climate, is a climate in which there is an excess of evaporation over precipitation. The typically bald, rocky, or sandy surfaces in desert climates hold little moisture and evaporate the little rainfall they receive. Covering 14.2% of earth's land area, hot deserts may be the most common type of climate on earth, after polar climate.
The Namib is a coastal desert in southern Africa. The name Namib is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means "vast place". According to the broadest definition, the Namib stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, extending southward from the Carunjamba River in Angola, through Namibia and to the Olifants River in Western Cape, South Africa. The Namib's northernmost portion, which extends 450 kilometres (280 mi) from the Angola-Namibia border, is known as Moçâmedes Desert, while its southern portion approaches the neighboring Kalahari Desert. From the Atlantic coast eastward, the Namib gradually ascends in elevation, reaching up to 200 kilometres (120 mi) inland to the foot of the Great Escarpment. Annual precipitation ranges from 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in the most arid regions to 200 millimetres (7.9 in) at the escarpment, making the Namib the only true desert in southern Africa. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55–80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world and contains some of the world's driest regions, with only western South America's Atacama Desert to challenge it for age and aridity benchmarks.
The Sahara is a desert located on the African continent. It is the largest hot desert in the world, and the third largest desert overall after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres (3,600,000 sq mi) is comparable to the area of China or the United States. The name 'Sahara' is derived from a dialectal Arabic word for "desert", ṣaḥra.
A rain shadow is a dry area on the leeward side of a mountainous area. The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems and cast a "shadow" of dryness behind them. Wind and moist air is drawn by the prevailing winds towards the top of the mountains, where it condenses and precipitates before it crosses the top. The air, without much moisture left, advances across the mountains creating a drier side called the "rain shadow".
The Goldfields-Esperance region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is located in the south eastern corner of Western Australia, and comprises the local government areas of Coolgardie, Dundas, Esperance, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Laverton, Leonora, Menzies, Ngaanyatjarraku and Ravensthorpe.
The Lake Eyre basin is a drainage basin that covers just under one-sixth of all Australia. It is the largest endorheic basin in Australia and amongst the largest in the world, covering about 1,200,000 square kilometres (463,323 sq mi), including much of inland Queensland, large portions of South Australia and the Northern Territory, and a part of western New South Wales. The basin is also one of the largest, least-developed arid zone basins with a high degree of variability anywhere. It supports about 60,000 people and a large amount of wildlife, and has no major irrigation, diversions or flood-plain developments. Low density grazing is the major land use, occupying 82% of the total land within the basin.
The Gibson Desert, an interim Australian bioregion, is a large desert that covers a large dry area in the state of Western Australia and is still largely in an almost "pristine" state. It is about 155,000 square kilometres (60,000 sq mi) in size, making it the fifth largest desert in Australia, after the Great Victoria, Great Sandy, Tanami and Simpson deserts.
An erg is a broad, flat area of desert covered with wind-swept sand with little or no vegetative cover. The term takes its name from the Arabic word ʿarq (عرق), meaning "dune field". Strictly speaking, an erg is defined as a desert area that contains more than 125 km2 (48 sq mi) of aeolian or wind-blown sand and where sand covers more than 20% of the surface. Smaller areas are known as "dune fields". The largest hot desert in the world, the Sahara, covers 9 million square kilometres and contains several ergs, such as the Chech Erg and the Issaouane Erg in Algeria. Approximately 85% of all the Earth's mobile sand is found in ergs that are greater than 32,000 km2 (12,355 sq mi). Ergs are also found on other celestial bodies, such as Venus, Mars, and Saturn's moon Titan.
Western Australia occupies nearly one third of the Australian continent. Due to the size and the isolation of the state, considerable emphasis has been made of these features; it is the second largest administrative territory in the world, after Yakutia in Russia, and no other regional administrative jurisdiction in the world occupies such a high percentage of a continental land mass. It is also the only first level administrative subdivision to occupy the entire continental coastline in one cardinal direction.
The Tabernas Desert is one of Spain's semi-arid deserts, located within Spain's southeastern province of Almería. The Tabernas desert is located in the interior, about 30 kilometers (19 mi) north of the provincial capital, Almería, in the Tabernas municipality. Due to its high altitude and inland location, it has slightly higher annual rainfall and lower annual average temperature than coastal areas of Almeria. It is a nature reserve spanning 280 square kilometres.
The Tirari Desert is a 15,250 square kilometres (5,888 sq mi) desert in the eastern part of the Far North region of South Australia. It stretches 212 km from north to south and 153 km from east to west.
The geography of Australia encompasses a wide variety of biogeographic regions being the world's smallest continent but the sixth-largest country in the world. The population of Australia is concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts. The geography of the country is extremely diverse, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of the Australian Alps and Tasmania to large deserts, tropical and temperate forests.
Tropical deserts are located in regions between 5 and 30 degrees latitude. Environment is very extreme. they have the highest average monthly temperature on Earth. Rainfall is sporadic; precipitation may not be observed at all in a few years. In addition to these extreme environmental and climate conditions, most tropical deserts are covered with sand and rocks, and thus too flat and lacking in vegetation to block out the wind. Wind may erode and transport sand, rocks and other materials; these are known as eolian processes. Landforms caused by wind erosion vary greatly in characteristics and size. Representative landforms include depressions and pans, Yardangs, inverted topography and ventifacts. No significant populations can survive in tropical deserts due to extreme aridity, heat and the paucity of vegetation; only specific flora and fauna with special behavioral and physical mechanisms are supported. Although tropical deserts are considered to be harsh and barren, they are in fact hotbeds of natural resources and plays a significant role in economic development.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Deserts of Australia .|