Grand Erg Occidental
|Grand Erg Occidental
العرق الغربي الكبير
The desolate landscape of the Grand Erg Occidental near Timimoun
Map of the Maghreb showing the Grand Erg Occidental.
|Elevation||500 m (1,600 ft)|
The Grand Erg Occidental (Arabic: العرق الغربي الكبير, al-ʿIrq al-Gharbī al-Kabīr), (also known as the Western Sand Sea) is the second largest erg in northern Algeria after the Grand Erg Oriental. It covers an area of approximately 78,000 square kilometres (30,000 sq mi). The sand dunes in the erg are formed by the wind, and can be up to 120 metres (390 ft) high. Certain crescent-shaped dunes, known as barchans, are actually mobile; the wind can push these dunes as much as 20 to 30 m (65-100 ft) in one year.
It is a desert natural region that receives less than 50 mm (1,96 in) of rainfall per year. The mean elevation of the Grand Erg Occidental is about 500 m, on average higher than the elevation of the Grand Erg Oriental, but not as high as the neighboring Tademaït to the southwest. This desolate region is a practically uninhabited area; there are no permanent villages and there are no roads crossing it.
- Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. pp. 168–169. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
- "STS059-238-088 Grand Erg Occidental, North Central Algeria April 1994". Earth from Space. NASA. Archived from the original on 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2007-01-18.
- "GRAND ERG OCCIDENTAL: The endless dunes". Adventures in Algeria. LexicOrient. Retrieved 2007-01-18.
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