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Hot Deserts- Case Studies

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Fiona Ling

on 10 September 2013

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Transcript of Hot Deserts- Case Studies

Hot Deserts- Case Studies
(Southern Pakistan)
- Lack of water

- Heat

- Cannot do commercial farming, due to the soil and lack of water.

How people use the desert
Subsistence farming
: Tribes have to
keep moving
, in search of
fresh grazing
for their mixed livestock groups of sheep, goats and camels, because there is nothing better than poor coarse grass and tough shrubs for the animals to eat.

Mining and industry
: E.g. Limestone and gypsum (for making plaster) are found in Thar desert – and are valuable for the building industry.

: Locals can act as
guides and provide transport
– such as hiring out camels. Also, the
Thar Desert
, with its
beautiful landscapes
has become a popular tourist attraction.

: To provide
drinking water.
Negative impact of human uses
- Soil erosion: over cultivation and overgrazing damaged vegetation in places, leading to soil erosion by wind and rain.

- Effects of tourism: Tourism becomes overdeveloped, causing the environment to become fragile. (E.g.: Thar Desert)

- Salinization: excessive irrigation led to waterlogging the ground. Salt, poisonous to plants have been deposited. This is called salinization.

Management strategies and its efficiency
The Desert Development Programme
- To
restore ecological balance
of the region by conserving, developing and harnessing land, water, land stock and human resources in Rajasthan. It has been particularly concerned with
developing forestry
addressing the issue of sand dune stabilization

– Scientists have developed a hardy breed of plum tree called a
Ber Tree
. It produces large fruits and
can survive in low rainfall conditions
. The fruits can be sold and there is the potential to make a decent profit.

Stabilization of sand dunes
: Sand dunes in the Thar Desert are very mobile. In some areas they form a threat to farmland, roads and waterways.
Planting blocks of trees
establishing shelterbelts
roads and canals
have been used to
stabilize the dunes

National parks
: Thar Desert
National Park
is created to
3000km2 of this arid land and the endangered and rare wildlife.

Mojave Desert (Southwestern USA)
- The Mojave Desert in the USA covers over 57,000 km2.

- Includes parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

- The area is popular with people retiring due to its year-round good weather. E.g.: 80% of the people in Sun City in Arizona are over 65 years old.
- Little rain (less than 250 mm of rain annually).

- May not have enough water to sustain the increasing population.

- Heat.
How people use the desert
- Commercial farming. E.g. There have been cattle ranches in the region for over 100 years.

- Tourist destinations. (E.g. Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Death Valley) The Death Valley National Park gets around 1 million visitors annually. Tourists are attracted by the wildlife and geology, and activities like camping, hiking, horse riding and off-road driving.

- Few borax mines in California. (In the past, gold, silver, copper, lead and salts were mined, although most have now closed.)
Negative impact of human uses
- Rapid population growth (including retirement migrants) has depleted water resources.

- Farming uses a lot of water.

- Farming can cause soil erosion.

- Tourists deplete water resources, drop litter, damage plants and cause soil erosion. (E.g. by using off-road vehicles).
Management strategies and its efficiency
- Water conservation schemes. E.g. the Mojave Water Agency gives people vouchers to buy water efficient toilets and washing machines. They also pay people to remove grass lawns (which need a lot of water) and replace them with plants that don't use as much.
do not deplete water supplies

as much
, therefore there's more for future generations.

- The four national parks of Mojave Desert (Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Zion and the Grand Canyon). Native species are protected, and there are strict rules on land use. E.g. Strict rules on mining to reduce environmental damage are implemented.
, to allow future generations to use it.

- Designated roads for off-road vehicles + Fencing off sensitive areas: To prevent the off-road vehicles from entering.
plant life
for future generations.

- Water conservation in some hotels in Las Vegas. E.g. The MGM Mirage® Hotels use drip-irrigation to water lawns.

doesn't use as much water
other irrigation methods
, hence conserving more water for the future.
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