June 24, 2013

Deserts - Definition - Types - Deserts in India

Deserts  - Definition - Types - Deserts in India

Q) What is Desert?

Definition: A desert is a landscape or region that receives little precipitation. Deserts are defined as areas with an average annual precipitation of less than 250 millimetres (10 in) per year, or as areas where more water is lost by evapo-transpiration than falls as precipitation.
Deserts of India

Other definitions of Deserts
As per Koppen Climate Classification System, deserts are classed as BWh (hot desert) or BWk (temperate desert).

As per  Thornthwaite Climate Classification System, deserts would be classified as arid megathermal climates.

Types of Deserts
- Hot Desert
- Cold Desert

Q) What are Cold deserts ?
Cold Deserts(also known as polar deserts) have similar features, except the main form of precipitation is snow rather than rain. Antarctica is the world's largest cold desert.

Deserts in India
The Thar Desert also known as the Great Indian Desert is a large, arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent.
Thar Desert of India

  1. Area of around 208,110 sqkm
  2. World's ninth largest sub-tropical desert.
  3. It lies mostly in Rajasthan, and extends into the southern portion of Haryana and Punjab and into northern Gujarat.
  4. In Pakistan, the desert covers eastern Sindh province and the southeastern portion of Pakistan's Punjab province.
  5. Adjoining to Thar is The Cholistan Desert adjoins the Thar Desert spreading into Pakistani Punjab province.
  6. In India the Thar desert extends from the Sutlej River, surrounded by the Aravalli Range on the east, on the south by the salt marsh known as the Rann of Kutch (parts of which are sometimes included in the Thar), and on the west by the Indus River.
  7. Vegetation:  large thorny steppe while in north is ill-defined.
  8. Maximum area in Rajasthan.
  9. Of the total desert in India, 61% falls in Rajasthan, 20% in Gujarat and 9% in Punjab/Haryana.
  10. The Indian desert is said to be expanding at a rate of 1/2 km per year towards Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.


  1. The only cold desert in India, forms a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is made up of two administrative districts - Leh and Kargil.
    Ladakh Desert cold desert of India
  2. total area of about 59,000 square kilometers
  3. The summer temperature may rise to 30C while the winter temperature may go down to –40C.
  4. Intensive sunlight, high evaporation rate, strong winds and fluctuating temperatures characterize the general climate.
  5.  Lamaist Buddhist population as it was nominally present in tibet region of ladakh area but After 1531 it was invaded periodically by Muslims from Kashmir; it was annexed to Kashmir in the mid-19th cent. With a population of 10,000 people, mainly Buddhist, some Argoos (Muslim descendants of Yarkandi traders) and a small Christian community,  
  6. The area receives a total precipitation of 80 mm per year. 


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