The Simpson Desert is a hot, dry place.
It is in Australia.
There are large sand dunes there.
There are dust storms in the Simspon desert.
Australia: one of the world's driest continents
After Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent in the world. About 35 per cent of the land is desert.
What causes the deserts?
The Great Dividing Range, a chain of mountains that runs along the east coast from north to south blocks rainfall and moisture from the Pacific Ocean from reaching inland Australia, causing it to be mostly scrub lands and deserts.
The Simpson Desert
The Simpson Desert is a hot and dry desert occupying almost 200 000 square kilometres of central Australia, mostly in the Northern Territory's south-east but also in parts of South Australia and Queensland. Rainfall is less than 400 millimetres per year.
A feature of the Queensland Munga-Thirri National Park (it used to be called Simpson Desert National Park) a protected area which covers an area of 10 000 square kilometres, are the parallel, wind-blown sand dunes which can be up to 20 metres high and 200 kilometres long. Between the dunes, which can also be a kilometre apart, the land is claypans and saltpans, sand drifts and plains, and in eastern areas, stony flats.
Dust storms are common in dry times.
Why is it called the Simpson desert?
The Simpson Desert is named after Alfred Allen Simpson, an Australian industrialist, philanthropist, geographer, and president of the South Australian branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia. Mr Simpson was the owner of the Simpson washing machine company.
Animals and plants of the Simpson Desert
Although the Simpson Desert is a harsh environment, native, spiny grasses known as spinifex bind the loose sand and provide a habitat for over 200 bird species. At least 34 native mammals, 22 amphibians, 13 fish, and 125 reptile species live there. These animals and the desert environment are threatened by the impact of grazing animals, and by feral cats and dogs.