Empty Quarter Dunes

January 26, 2015

IMG_7893 Diagonal Morning2

IMG_8097 Dolphin Dune
Photographer: Bret Webster
Summary Authors: Bret Webster; Jim Foster
January 2015 Viewer's Choice
The photos above show some of the spectacular dune formations found in the Empty Quarter of northwestern Oman, near the Yemen and Saudi Arabian Borders. At top is the Diagonal Morning Dune and at bottom is the Dolphin Dune. The Empty Quarter or Rub al Khali (quarter of emptiness) is the world’s largest sand desert, consisting almost entirely of sand. Although it's only approximately 1/15 the size of the Sahara Desert it contains roughly 50 percent of the same sand volume, resulting in one of the most astonishing arid landscapes on Earth. Most of the sand dunes in the Rub al Khali trend northeast to southwest, perpendicular to the prevailing wind. These transverse dunes may reach heights of 100 ft (32 m) or more.

This area of Oman, also referred to as the land of contrast and magic, is where frankincense grows and where despite the extreme aridity it actually rains in the middle of the summer -- the Khareef Festival in Salalah. Photos taken in February of 2014.

Photo details: Top - Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II; Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM; Focal Length: 200mm; Focus Distance: Infinite; Aperture: ƒ/10.0; Exposure Time: 0.040 s (1/25); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5.1 Windows. Bottom - Same except: Focal Length: 73mm; Focus Distance: 4.57m' Aperture: ƒ/22.0; Exposure Time: 0.020 s (1/50); ISO equiv: 400.