Is this the smallest desert in the world?
Size:  (not chosen)
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Carcross desert is reputed to be the smallest desert in the world though whilst doing research for me earthcache I uncovered more than a bit of controversy about that statement. This got me thinking: "What is the difference between a desert and a dune?" and what is so special about the Carcross "Desert"
A DUNE is a ridge of sand created by the wind; found in deserts or near lakes and oceans.
A DESERT is defined as an area that gets little precipitation, generally less than 10 inches (250 mm) per year. Although deserts are perceived as lifeless areas, most deserts have high biodiversity. Most of the organisms have adapted various means of conserving water, from sophisticated storage mechanisms as in many plants, to methods for avoiding the heat of the day as in most higher organisms.
Currently, one-fifth of the earth's land mass is covered by desert. Deserts experience wide temperature ranges. This is because there is little humidity in the air to hold in heat. When the sun sets, the air cools quickly.
Aug 20, 2006 Robert Dailey (visit link)
How does the sand get to Carcross?
The Watson River is full of sand which the current brings to Lake Bennett. In the spring low water levels expose the sand and the prevailing winds lap it up onto the beach and into the dunes. The sand formations are constantly moving, burying vegetation along the way and sometimes re exposing areas of vegetation which have previously been buried. The north east part of the sand is the highest point forming a ridge below Caribou Mountain. The most active areas of sand are at the lake shore and at higher elevations.
This habitat is home to some very rare plants and insects.
PLEASE RESPECT THAT I HAVE OVER 40 CACHES THAT GET VISITED REGULARLY. IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO LOG YOUR CACHE AS FOUND ONLY WHEN YOU SEND ME YOUR ANSWERS - ANY DELAY IN SENDING ANSWERS WILL RESULT IN A DELETED LOG.
To log this earthcache send answers to the following questions to the cache owner:
1. Is Carcross "Desert" a desert or a dune? Why?
2. What may stop the advance of the sand in the Caribou Mountain area?
3. What area is prone to blowout and why?
4. What is the primary characteristic of an unstable dune?
Thank you to the Yukon Government for providing a source of information and interpretative learning at this site.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum