Linear Sand Dunes
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Linear Sand Dunes

August 31, 2009
Linear Sand Dunes, Mauritania April 1990 The western end of the great Sahara Desert is captured in this southeast-looking, low-oblique photograph of desert and coastal areas of Mauritania. This region of west Africa is a major source of eolian sand that is transported across the Atlantic Ocean to North America. Other photographs taken during Space Shuttle flights have charted the distance and areal extent that these west African dust palls travel. The yellow and orange areas are sand dunes and sand sheets, and the darker areas are bedrock outcrops. The major area of northeast-southwest-trending bedrock produces a downwind "wind shadow" effect on the landscape that extends to the coast. The northern grayish areas with little or no sand are rock and gravel desert plains. The peninsula of Cape Blanc protrudes into Lévrier Bay.

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