Snow Capped Dunes in the Desert

March 06, 2013

Snow Capped Dunes in the Desert2

Photographer
: Patrick Wiggins 
Summary Author: Patrick Wiggins

The photo above showing snow-capped sand dunes was taken from the window of my small Cessna aircraft, over west-central Utah. It was snapped from an altitude of about 1,000 m a few days after a substantial snowstorm passed through the area. Many people tend to equate sand dunes with hot places like the Sahara Desert in Africa, but in Utah's Little Sahara Recreation Area, located about 200 km south of Salt Lake City, not only are there sand dunes aplenty, but on occasion they’re covered in snow. The free-moving dunes (covering approximately 240 sq. km), composed primarily of quartz grains, are migrating with the prevailing winds (westerlies) about 2-3 m per year. Note that the sun-facing (southern and western) slopes are for the most part clear of snow. Photo taken on February 1, 2013.

Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D70; Focal Length: 35.0mm (35mm equivalent: 52mm); Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500).