Kharan Desert

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This page is about the desert in southwestern Pakistan. For Pakistan's second nuclear test, see Chagai-II.

The Kharan Desert (Urdu: صحرائے خاران‎) is a sand desert situated in the Balochistan province in southwestern Pakistan.

Kharan Desert was the site of Pakistan's second nuclear test, Chagai-II, which was carried out on 28th May 1998.


The Kharan Desert is characterized by extremes of altitude and extreme temperatures in the desert. It consists of shifting sand dunes with an underlying pebble-conglomerate floor. The moving dunes reach heights of between 15 and 30 meters. Level areas between the dunes are a hard-topped pan when dry and a treacherous, sandy-clay mush when wet. The altitudes of deserts slope from about 1,000m in the north to about 250m on in the south-west. Average annual rainfall throughout these deserts is well under 100 mm. The desert includes areas of inland drainage and dry lakes (hamuns). The area is known particularly for its constant mirages and sudden severe sandstorms.

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