Libyan Desert(redirected from Great Sand Sea)
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Libyan Desert,northeast part of the Sahara Desert, NE Africa, in SW Egypt, E Libya, and NW Sudan; called the Western Desert in Egypt. It is a region of sand dunes, stony plains, and rocky plateaus. There are few inhabitants and little traffic across it. Al Kufrah, Libya, is the chief oasis.
a desert in Africa, in the northeastern part of the Sahara, west of the Nile River. It lies within eastern Libya, western Egypt, and the northern part of the Sudan, covering an area of about 2 million sq km. The northern part of the desert is low-lying and covered by sand dunes up to 300 m in height. In the northeast there are deep tectonic depressions: Qattara (133 m below sea level), Siwa, and Faiyum. The southern part is a rocky and sandy plateau 400–500 m in elevation with outlier massifs rising to 1,934 m (al-Uwaynat). Most of the area has a tropical, desert climate; in the north the climate is Mediterranean and semidesert. The mean January temperature is 12°-18°C, and July temperatures average 28°-35°C. Daily temperature fluctuations reach 15°-16°C. Annual precipitation totals less than 25 mm, although the northern part may receive 50–100 mm. Sometimes there is no rainfall for several years. The Libyan Desert has almost no dry water-courses (wadis). The sparse vegetation consists of desert acacia, tamarisk, and wormwood. Oases occur where the groundwater rises to the surface. The largest oases are Siwa, Bahariya, Faiyum, Dakhla, Kharga, al-Kufrah, and Farafra. Most of the population is concentrated in the oases and the chief occupations are farming (date palms, peaches and apricots, and cereals) and livestock raising. The Faiyum and Kharga oases are connected by rail with the Nile Valley. There is an iron ore deposit in Bahariya.