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Central part of Oleshky Sands in spring

Oleshky Sands (Ukrainian: Олешківські піски) is the largest expanse of sand in Ukraine[1]. It is situated inland from the Ukrainian coast of the Black Sea and consists of sand dunes or kuchuhury (locally), which reach a height of five meters. Some sparse vegetation can be located across the sands.

Contents

Geography

Oleshky Sands are located in Tsiurupynsk Raion, Kherson Oblast, 30 km (~20 mi) east of Kherson. The previous name of Tsiurupynsk was Oleshky. The closest populated settlement is seven kilometers away (~4.5 mi). In Soviet times the sands were used as an Air Force bombing range for pilots of the Warsaw Pact alliance. To this day there is a possibility of finding some unexploded ordnance.

Environment

Due to its temperature and the amount of precipitation these sands sometimes are qualified as a semi-desert. Oleshky Sands are 15 km in diameter (~10 mi) and they are surrounded by a very dense forest planted to prevent dunes moving. Due to its density, the forest often catches fire. Although a relatively small sandy steppe, the Oleshky Sands have sandstorms[citation needed]. In the Oleshky sands at the depth of 300–400 m (~1000 ft) there is an underground lake, which forms an essential part of the local environment.

References

  1. ^ Sometimes Oleshky Sands are declared the largest desert (or sands) in Europe, but the largest sandy desert in Europe is Ryn Desert, it is 20 times larger

See also

External links

Coordinates: 46°35′00″N 33°03′00″E / 46.5833333°N 33.05°E / 46.5833333; 33.05

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