Rub’ al Khali

Blast from the past…

SPEAKZEASY

Rub' al Khali

RUB’ al KHALI (Arabic : EMPTY QUARTER) is the largest continuous sand desert in the world, encompassing most of the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula.  The desert covers some 650,000sq.km, including parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE and Yemen.  It is part of the larger Arabian Desert.


rub_al-khali top view

The Desert is 1,000km long and 500km wide.  Its surface elevation varies from 2,600ft in the southwest to around sea-level in the northeast.  The terrain is covered with sand dunes with heights of up to 820ft, interspersed with gravel and gypsum plains.  The sand is a reddish-orange colour due to the presence of FELDSPAR.  There are also brackish salt flats in some areas, such as the UMM al SAMIM area on the desert’s eastern edge.


Sand dunes empty quarter

Along the middle length of the desert, there are a number of raised, hardened areas of calcium carbonate, gypsum, clay that were once the site of…

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