Where is the Empty Quarter desert?

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The Empty Quarter Desert

It is the largest sandy desert in the world, located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula between the countries of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and the Emirates, and it is called the Empty Quarter, because it occupies about a quarter of the area of ​​the Arabian Peninsula with a length of 1200 km and a width of approximately 650 km, and a total area of ​​650 km2, the second of which is devoid of human life And the reason for that is due to the high temperatures in that region that reach above 50 degrees Celsius and the sandy nature of this land, which makes it unfit for agriculture and difficult to build and move around.

Source of sand in the Empty Quarter

Geologists believe that there are two main sources of sand in the Empty Quarter desert:

  • Continental sand: Which is distinguished by its red color due to the presence of iron oxide in it and its land source, and formed as a result of the flow of valleys from the mountains. These sand are concentrated in the southern, western, and northwestern parts of the Empty Quarter.
  • Marine sand: It is distinguished by its white color, salty taste, roughness of its grains, and its source in the waters of the Arabian Gulf. These sands moved by wind to the Empty Quarter, and they are concentrated in the eastern and northeastern parts of the Empty Quarter.

Types of sand dunes in the Empty Quarter

  • Burhan dunes (Al Quoz): They are high and large dunes, and can reach a height of 150-200 meters. Most dunes of this type are found in the northeastern parts of the Empty Quarter.
  • Star dunes: are distinguished by their pyramidal shapes, and their steep tops are either in individual forms or in complex clusters, and some of these types can reach a height of about two hundred meters, and these dunes are found in the southern and eastern parts of the Empty Quarter.
  • Dome dunes: It is distinguished by its high internal structures. Some dunes of this type can reach about 100 meters. This species is found in the central parts of the Empty Quarter.
  • Sheet sand: This type of dune forms a semi-flat to wavy sand cover, and includes sand plateaus and low plateaus.
  • Longitudinal dunes: They are long sandy veins that are spread between the southwest and northeastern parts of the Empty Quarter, and some of these dunes reach a height of about a hundred meters.

Ingredients for life in the Empty Quarter

  • Water: It is not expected in the Empty Quarter a large number of artesian wells, some of which are unfit for drinking because they contain a high percentage of sulfur, while others are suitable for drinking, knowing that drinking water is available in large quantities and the wells are not deep but close to the surface of the earth.
  • Animals: A group of animals lives in this desert, but all are threatened with extinction due to the difficulty of living, as well as the unfair practices of random fishing. Including: caribou, rim gazelle, ostrich, sand tigers, weasels, snakes, and many insects such as spiders and scorpions.
  • the plants: Some desert plants live in the Rub al-Khali desert, but in small proportions and they are often seasonal, such as camel, campus, shanan, dice, and grape.
  • the climate: The climate is desert, par excellence, very hot in the summer, and in the winter dry and very cold, and the rains are virtually non-existent and sandstorms hit the region all year round, the greatest temperatures in summer range from 50 -60 degrees Celsius, and in winter it falls below 0 degrees Celsius.
  • Riches: The Empty Quarter desert contains the largest reserves of crude oil in the world, which made it the focus of great interest, and that region attracted huge investments in the field of exploration and oil extraction and one of the largest oil companies operating in Aramco.
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