Indian Desert and its Features

Indian Desert and its Features

A desert is an area of extreme aridity with little vegetation and extremely high or low temperatures. There can be hot deserts or cold deserts, depending on the temperature. To practice agriculture, people live on these lands with little water.

The northwest corner of the Indian subcontinent contains the vast and arid Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert. It forms a natural border between India and Pakistan and spans an area of about 200,000 km2.

The Thar Desert is split between Pakistan and India by about 85%. The Thar Desert makes up roughly 4.56% of India's land area.

Types of Desert
Deserts generally fall under one of four categories:

  • Deserts with high humidity: The climate is warm and dry all year long. The Mojave Desert, found in the southwest of the United States, and the Sahara Desert, which encircles much of the African continent, are two well-known examples of arid deserts.
  • Semi-arid deserts: Compared to hot, dry deserts, these deserts are a little cooler. In semi-arid deserts, the long, dry summers are followed by wet winters. North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia are all places where they can be found. 
  • Coastal deserts: Compared to other desert types, these deserts are more humid. Rainfall is uncommon even though dense fogs frequently blow in from the coast. Examples of coastal deserts include Chile's Atacama Desert in South America.
  • Cold deserts: In comparison to other desert types, these deserts are dry and have very low temperatures. An extremely cold desert is the Antarctic.

General Information about the Thar Desert

The Rann of Kutch along the western coast, the alluvial plains of the Indus River in the northwest, Punjab and Haryana to the north, and the Aravali Hills in the northeast make up the Great Indian Desert.

The Thar Desert contains a number of protected areas. Here are a few of them: 

  • Desert Natural Park covers an area of about 3162 km2. It has 44 villages, one of the largest Thar Desert ecosystems, and a variety of flora and fauna.
  • The Churu district contains the 7 km2 Tal Chhapar Sanctuary. The sanctuary has a sizable population of foxes, blackbuck, partridge, and other animals.
  • The 117.49 km2 (45.36 sq mi) Sundha Mata Conservation Reserve is in the Jalore District.

Indian Desert characteristics

The western edge of the Aravali Hills is where the Indian desert is located. The Indian desert's primary characteristics are:

  • Sand dunes are scattered across an undulating sandy plain. 
  • Very little precipitation, less than 150 mm annually, falls in this area. 
  • Its climate is dry, and its vegetation cover is minimal. 
  • During the rainy season, streams emerge, but because they lack the water to reach the sea, they soon vanish into the sand.
  • Although longitudinal dunes are more noticeable close to the Indo-Pakistan border, barchans, or crescent-shaped dunes, cover a larger area.

The Great Indian Desert's topography

The Great Indian Desert's soil erodes easily from the wind and is perpetually dry. Strong winds blow out of the desert at high speeds, depositing some of it near fertile lands. These high winds cause shifting sand dunes within the desert. Canals like the Indira Gandhi Canal provide water for the Thar Desert. Additionally, these canals stop the desert from encroaching on fertile land.

Few native tree species can survive the harsh desert climate, so species not native to the area are planted instead. Tree species from Israel, Australia, Zimbabwe, Chile, Sudan, and others have been planted, including eucalyptus, jojoba, acacia, and cassia. The most economically feasible for planting in these areas has proven to be jojoba, which also offers the most promise.

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