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The Sahara Desert contains more water than sand 8/22/2015 •

The Sahara Desert contains more water than sand

The Sahara Desert occupies the 3d place in top 5 of the most spacious deserts after the two polar ones and is the largest sand desert. However, there is less sand and much more water than you can imagine!


175⁰F (80⁰С) is the temperature of the Sahara sand on a summer day. This is one of those rare places where the amount of precipitations (100 mm per year) is several times less than the amount of evaporation (2,500-5,500 mm per year). On the hottest days rain drops disappear before they can reach the ground.

89,963 mi3 (375,000 km3) of fresh water are contained in a huge underground lake under the Sahara (under the territory of Egypt, Libya, Chad and Sudan). This is one of the greatest natural reservoirs in the whole world. For example, Baikal contains only 5,518 mi3 (23,000 km3 ) of fresh water.

5,400 years ago the process of desertization started. Quite a few of rock carvings – petroglyphs – found in the area prove that several thousand years ago the Sahara was a green savanna with a lot of rivers and lakes. Nowadays we can see only dry beds of ancient rivers called wadi. During heavy rains some of them may turn into deep flows just in a couple of hours.

3.5 million mi2 (9 million km2) is the land area of the desert which makes 29.6% of Africa. About 2.5 million people inhabit this territory. As a comparison, the size of China is 3.7 mi3 (9.6 million km2) with the population of almost 1.4 billion people.

Only 20% of the Sahara is covered with sands. The rest is stone deserts (70%) and salt marshes (10%).

An average sand layer in the Sahara is 492 ft (150 m) thick. The tallest dunes sometimes reach the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

If humanity decided to clear the desert of its sand, each of 7.2 billion people living on our planet would have to top up with sand and then empty over 3 million buckets.

#Geography

Your opinion matters
22 Comments
Dennis McCreedy
Dennis McCreedy
China has only 7. Millionz people or did something happen I unaware of???
1
Aug 22, 2015 8:28PM
Denis Wittman
I thought China had 1 billion 300 million people.
3
Aug 22, 2015 8:45PM
Billy Brown
Billy Brown
Denis is correct, but now closer to 1.4 billion.
0
Aug 22, 2015 9:40PM
williamrlaughlin
This site makes far too many mistakes to be considered professional or accurate. Misspelling, bad grammar, and misinformation abound. Don't rely on the figures you read here.
3
Aug 22, 2015 10:24PM
Ethan Cole Edminsten
The hottest temperature in air on earth was recorded in death vallet California at 134°F
2
Aug 22, 2015 11:32PM
Sandra Raynes
Sandra Raynes
William Laughlin are u sure?
0
Aug 23, 2015 2:58AM
Sarah Hearn-vonFoerster
Sarah Hearn-vonFoerster
"Sahara" means desert, so no need to say "Desert Desert". Just an observation.
1
Aug 23, 2015 4:27AM
William Butler
William Butler
Not sure how that could be, in the summer of 2006 we saw 152 on the anbar province western Iraq. Recorded by the US Army.
1
Aug 23, 2015 4:49AM
Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
175 degrees seems a bit high. But what do I know never been there
0
Aug 23, 2015 1:07PM
eugene wilson
William Laughlin considering that the average person off the streets writes the questions and does the answers it doesn't surprise me, same with the Stories and Facts.
1
Aug 23, 2015 2:09PM

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