Tanezrouft Basin

This image, likewise included on the Earth from Space video program, was recorded on January 12, 2020 by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission– a two-satellite objective to supply the protection and information shipment needed for Europe’s Copernicus program. Credit: Contains customized Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 objective takes us over the Tanezrouft Basin– one of the most desolate parts of the Sahara Desert.

Zoom in to see this image at its complete 10 m resolution or click on the circles for more information about the functions in this image.

Tanezrouft is an area of the Sahara depending on southern Algeria and northern Mali. The hyperarid location is understood for its soaring temperatures and limited access to water and greenery, a reason why it’s frequently described as the ‘Land of Horror’. There are no irreversible citizens that live here, just periodic Tuareg nomads.

The barren plain reaches the west of the Hoggar mountains and southeast of the sandy Erg Chech. The terrain shows evidence of water erosion that occurred many years ago, when the Sahara Desert’s climate was much wetter, as well as wind disintegration triggered by frequent sandstorms– exposing ancient folds in the Paleozoic rocks.

The area is characterised by dark sandstone hills, high canyon walls, salt flats (visible in white in the image), stone plateaus and seas of multi-story sand dunes called ‘ergs’. Concentric rings of exposed sandstone strata create a spectacular pattern predominantly visible in the left of the image.

White lines in the right of the image are roadways that result in In Salah– the capital of the In Salah Province and In Salah District. Just above the center-left of the image, an airstrip can be seen. An interesting, grid-like pattern can be seen in the bottom of the image and mainly includes human-made cleanings and roadways.

This image was captured on January 12, 2020, by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission– a two-satellite objective to provide the coverage and information delivery required for Europe’s Copernicus program.


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