List of deserts by area

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This is a list of the largest deserts in the world by area. It includes all deserts above 50,000 km2 (19,300 sq mi).

Some of Earth's biggest non-polar deserts
Rank Name Type Image Area
(km2)
Area
(sq mi)
Location[note 1] Nation(s)
1 Antarctic Desert Polar ice and tundra Antarctica surface.jpg 14,200,000,000,000,000 14,200,000[1] 05,482,651 5,482,651 Antarctica N/A
2 Arctic Desert Polar ice and tundra Sunny Skies over the Arctic in Late June 2010.jpg 13,900,000 13,900,000[1] 05,366,820 5,366,820 Eastern Europe
Northern America
Northern Asia
Northern Europe
United States of America, Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Jan Mayen, Norway, Russia, Svalbard, and Sweden
3 Sahara Desert Subtropical Sahara satellite hires.jpg 09,200,000 9,200,000[1] 03,552,140 3,552,140 Eastern Africa
Middle Africa
Northern Africa
Western Africa
Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, the Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara
4 Great Australian Subtropical Australia-climate-map MJC01.png 02,700,000 2,700,000 01,042,476 1,042,476 Australia Australia
5 Arabian Desert Subtropical Arabian Desert.png 02,330,000 2,330,000[2] 00,899,618 899,618 Western Asia Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen
6 Gobi Desert Cold winter Gobi.png 01,295,000 1,295,000[1] 00,500,002 500,002 Eastern Asia China and Mongolia
7 Kalahari Desert Subtropical Kalahari.png 00,900,000 900,000[3] 00,347,492 347,492 Southern Africa Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa
8 Patagonian Desert Cold winter Patagonian.png 00,673,000 673,000[1] 00,259,847 259,847 South America Argentina
9 Syrian Desert Subtropical Syrian Desert.png 00,500,000 500,000[4] 00,193,051 193,051 Western Asia Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria
10 Great Basin Cold winter Great Basin map.gif 00,492,098 492,098[4] 00,190,000 190,000 Northern America United States
11 Chihuahuan Desert Subtropical Chihuahua desert.jpg 00,453,248 453,248[4] 00,175,000 175,000 Northern America Mexico and the United States
12 Karakum Desert Cold winter Karakum.png 00,350,000 350,000[4] 00,135,136 135,136 Central Asia Turkmenistan
Great Victoria[note 2] Subtropical Australia-climate-map MJC01.png 00,348,750 348,750[1] 00,134,653 134,653 Australia and New Zealand Australia
13 Colorado Plateau Cold winter Four corners.jpg 00,337,000 337,000[4] 00,130,116 130,116 Northern America United States
14 Sonoran Desert Subtropical Mojave-Sonoran.gif 00,310,000 310,000[4] 00,119,692 119,692 Central America
Northern America
Mexico and the United States
15 Kyzylkum Desert Cold winter Kyzyl Kum.png 00,300,000 300,000[4] 00,115,831 115,831 Central Asia Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
16 Taklamakan Desert Cold winter Taklamakan.png 00,270,000 270,000 00,104,248 104,248 Eastern Asia China
17 Ogaden Desert Subtropical Ogaden Desert.jpg 00,256,000 256,000 00,098,842 98,842 Eastern Africa Ethiopia, Somalia, and Somaliland
18 Puntland Desert Subtropical Somalia BMNG.png 00,200,000 200,000 00,077,220 77,220 Eastern Africa Somalia
Thar Desert Subtropical Thar Desert satellite.jpg 00,200,000 200,000[5] 00,077,220 77,220 Southern Asia India and Pakistan
Ustyurt Plateau Temperate Ustyurt Plateau USAID.jpg 00,200,000 200,000 00,077,220 77,220 Central Asia Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
21 Guban Desert Subtropical Somalia BMNG.png 00,175,000 175,000 00,067,568 67,568 Eastern Africa Somalia/Somaliland
22 Namib Desert Cool coastal Namib desert MODIS.jpg 00,160,000 160,000 00,061,776 61,776 Middle Africa
Southern Africa
Angola, Namibia, and South Africa
23 Dasht-e Margo Subtropical Kavir.png 00,150,000 150,000 00,057,915 57,915 Southern Asia Afghanistan
24 Registan Desert Subtropical The shifting dunes of the Northern Registan Desert 00,146,000 146,000 00,056,371 56,371 Southern Asia Afghanistan
25 Atacama Desert Mild coastal Atacama.png 00,140,000 140,000[4] 00,054,054 54,054 South America Chile and Peru
26 Danakil Desert Subtropical The Danakil Desert.png 00,137,000 137,000 00,052,896 52,896 Eastern Africa Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia
27 Mojave Desert Subtropical Mojave-Sonoran.gif 00,124,000 124,000[6][7] 00,047,877 47,877 Northern America United States
28 Chalbi Desert Subtropical Chalbi Desert Satellite.jpg 00,100,000 100,000 00,038,610 38,610 Eastern Africa Kenya
29 Columbia Basin Cold winter Level IV ecoregions, Columbia Plateau.png 00,083,139 83,139[4] 00,032,100 32,100 Northern America United States, Canada
30 Dasht-e Kavir Subtropical Kavir.png 00,077,000 77,000[8] 00,029,730 29,730 Southern Asia Iran
31 Ferlo Desert Subtropical Ferlo Desert.jpg 00,070,000 70,000 00,027,027 27,027 Western Africa Senegal
32 Ladakh Desert[9] Cold winter Ladakh Range 02.jpg 00,059,146 59,146 00,022,836 22,836 Southern Asia India
33 Dasht-e Lut Subtropical Dasht-e Lut Iran 2006-02-28 ISS012-E-18779.jpg 00,052,000 52,000[8] 00,020,077 20,077 Southern Asia Iran

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Top ten largest (non-polar) deserts". Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  2. ^ "Arabian Desert". Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  3. ^ Bass, Karen (2009-02-01). "Nature's Great Events:The Okavango Delta, Kalahari Desert" (PDF). press.uchicago.edu. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Largest Desert in the World". Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  5. ^ "Thar Desert | Map, Climate, Vegetation, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica.
  6. ^ "Mapping Perennial Vegetation Cover in the Mojave Desert" (PDF). pubs.usgs.gov. USGS Western Geographic Science Center. 2011-06-01. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  7. ^ "Recoverability and Vulnerability of Desert Ecosystems". mojave.usgs.gov. USGS. 2006-03-03. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
  8. ^ a b Wright, John W., ed. (2006). The New York Times Almanac (2007 ed.). New York, New York: Penguin Books. p. 456. ISBN 0-14-303820-6.
  9. ^ The Cold Desert – Ladakh