This abstract in browns and grays from central Algeria shows that some parts of Africa's Sahara Desert contain much more than dunes of wind-blown sand. Barren ridges and fragmented mountains (lower right) border a vast expanse of arid plains etched with a complex system of dry streambeds. The streambeds contain water for brief periods following rare, intense rains that often cause flash floods.
Algerian Sahara photographed by the Landsat Satelite on August 31, 2009.
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