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Empty Quarter



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Legion of Dunes
Photograph by George Steinmetz

An army of barchan dunes appear to travel in formation across the desert. Wind and sand conditions determine the types of dunes that prevail in different parts of the Empty Quarter. Barchans form when the amount of loose sand in an area is limited and the wind blows in one general direction, causing the sand to mound into dunes that grow as large as a hundred feet (30 meters) tall and eventually spawn baby dunes nearby. Geologists note that barchans dot Earth's deserts; they also appear as common features on Mars.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon 8008
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia
Lens: 17-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/500 @ f/2.8
Weather Conditions: Clear and windy
Time of Day: Thirty minutes after sunrise
Lighting Techniques: Right place, right time


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