Magazine article Geographical

High and Dry

Magazine article Geographical

High and Dry

Article excerpt

Celebrated photographer George Steinmetz has spent the past 15 years flying his motorised paraglider over the world's deserts, compiling a comprehensive collection of images of these harsh but beautiful environments. To celebrate the release of his latest Desert Air, we've reproduced a selection of his stunning shots.

OUADANE, MAURITANIA

The ancient city of Ouadane was a prosperous centre in the North African salt trade until the 18th century, acting as a staging post for caravans transporting slabs of salt from the mines at Idjil. The city began to decline as trade was diverted to the coast, and today a small population ekes out a living from the adjacent palm grove

DEAD SEA, ISRAEL

Waters stained brown with potassium sulphite cascade through evaporation ponds on their way to a potash plant The Dead Sea has ten times the salt density of the ocean, but with very different kinds of salt. The southern end of the sea is dominated by a huge network of precipitation basins that are used to harvest these salts for industrial and agricultural uses

HOGGAR MOUNTAINS, ALGERIA

The twin peaks of Tezouai in the Hoggar Mountains in the central Sahara are actually the cores of old volcanoes from which the surrounding rock has been stripped away Hidden in the nearby valleys are isolated oases that support rare Saharan species, including cypresses, gazelles and cheetahs

LAKE ASSAL ETHIOPIA

Chains of camels and donkeys complete the long trek from the Ethiopian highlands to Lake Assal also known as Lake Karum in the depths of the Afar Depression, 115 metres below sea level, to gather salt. …

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