Deserts of Australia
Named deserts of Australia cover 1,371,000 square kilometres (529,000 sq mi), or 18% of the Australian mainland.1 However, additional areas are considered to have a desert climate based on low rainfall and high temperature. The largest of the landform types covering Australia, deserts – and their arid climatic conditions – are found primarily in the western plateau and interior lowlands of the country.
Deserts are not necessarily completely devoid of vegetation, but have large areas where vegetation is very limited in height or extent.
|Desert||State/territory||Area||Area rank||Proportion of AU mainland area|
|Great Victoria Desert||Western Australia, South Australia||348,750 km2||134,650 sq mi||1||4.5%|
|Great Sandy Desert||Western Australia||267,250 km2||103,190 sq mi||2||3.4%|
|Tanami Desert||Western Australia, Northern Territory||184,500 km2||71,200 sq mi||3||2.4%|
|Simpson Desert||Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia||176,500 km2||68,100 sq mi||4||2.3%|
|Gibson Desert||Western Australia||156,000 km2||60,000 sq mi||5||2.0%|
|Little Sandy Desert||Western Australia||111,500 km2||43,100 sq mi||6||1.5%|
|Strzelecki Desert||South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales||80,250 km2||30,980 sq mi||7||1.0%|
|Sturt Stony Desert||South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales||29,750 km2||11,490 sq mi||8||0.3%|
|Tirari Desert||South Australia||15,250 km2||5,890 sq mi||9||0.2%|
|Pedirka Desert||South Australia||1,250 km2||480 sq mi||10||0.016%|
- Western Desert – is a grouping of the Gibson Desert the Great Sandy Desert and Little Sandy Desert.
Australia's climate is mostly determined by the hot, sinking air of the subtropical high pressure belt.2 Dry conditions are associated with an El Niño–Southern Oscillation in Australia. Vegetation in arid areas is primarily dependent upon soil type.2
Numerous introduced species have effect on the fauna and flora of desert regions.
Also un-controlled access to more sensitive areas by four-wheel drive vehicles can be an issue.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Deserts of Australia.|
- The Australian Landscape, A Cultural History - A four part program exploring the way Europeans and Aboriginal people have engaged with the desert, through art, science and religion, from ABC Radio National
- Encarta (Archived 2009-10-31)
- World Book
- World Wildlife Fund (2001). "Simpson desert". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08.
- Johnson, John & Catherine de Courcy.(1998) Desert Tracks Port Melbourne, Vic. Lothian Books. ISBN 0-85091-811-1