Monday, 25 Jan 2021
Cyclone Mekunu that struck Dhofar last month created temporary lakes across the world’s largest contiguous sand desert Rub al Khali, NASA stated.

Cyclone Mekunu creates uncommon lakes in Empty Quarter: NASA

Images captured from the space released by NASA lately show the impact of Tropical Cyclone Mekunu on the Empty Quarter, right after the storm dumped a number of years’ worth of rain producing short-term lakes amongst the dunes.

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory web site, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat eight acquired the false-colour pictures of the eastern component of the desert in Saudi Arabia, close to the border of Oman. “False-colour (bands 7-5-3) makes it easier to distinguish different rock and soil types and to detect the presence of moisture.”

The initial image was acquired on May 29, 3 days right after the centre of Mekunu had moved ashore more than Oman, the Earth Observatory stated. “Salalah, about 300km south of this image, reportedly received 278mm of rain more than 24 hours among May 25 and 26 – much more than twice the typical quantity the city sees in a year.

“Mekunu dissipated as it tracked northwest over land, but still delivered plenty of water to the desert. Notice where water collected in the lowlands between sand dunes. For comparison, the second image was acquired on May 13 and represents the typically dry appearance of the interdune sand flats,” Nasa’s Earth Observatory stated.

It is uncommon for rainwater to kind lakes in this component of the desert, recognized as the Empty Quarter. Sand composing dunes interspersed with salt flats, make up the majority of the landscape. According to news reports, this desert received on typical 3cm (1.two inches) of rain per year. It has been about 20 years given that rainwater final filled the flats.

The rainwater is anticipated to give rise to summertime vegetation, a boon for camel owners, who anticipate to feed the animals on the plants for the subsequent couple of seasons.

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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