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Where on Earth: Jubbah Oasis

Where on Earth is this desert oasis?

Credits

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/

Photograph of Jubbah from Expedition 64 Crew of the International Space Station
Original caption by Alex Stoken: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/148005/a-long-ago-lake-amid-the-dunes 
Adaptation to ViewSpace by Margaret W. Carruthers, Joe Olmsted, Holly Ryer and John Godfrey
Music from Music for Nonprofits

Transcript

(SPEECH)
[ELECTRONIC MUSIC]
 
(DESCRIPTION)
Collage of distinct satellite images of natural phenomena.
 
Text, where on earth? Satellite image, a triangle of grey with spots surrounded by a brown cracked landscape. Text, where on earth is this oasis? A, The Atacama Desert in Chile. B, The Gobi Desert in Mongolia. C, The Gibson Desert in Australia. D, The Nefud Desert in Saudi Arabia.
 
D is highlighted, The Nefud Desert in Saudi Arabia.
 
Text, Jubbah, Saudi Arabia. This photograph from the International Space Station shows the Saudi Arabian oasis of Jubbah.
 
Jubbah, a small city of roughly 20,000 people, is built on a dry lakebed, the former site of ancient Jubbah lake, in the middle of the Nefud Desert.
 
While much of the lakebed is now covered in dunes, Jubbah is protected by the mountain Jabel Umm Sinman.
 
Jabel Umm Sinman disrupts the prevailing winds, which blow from the west, preventing dunes from forming on the east side of the mountain.
 
Prior to the desertification of the Arabian Peninsula, Jubbah Lake was one of a network of freshwater sources.
 
Even as the region became more arid, the lake continued to hold freshwater, making Jubbah a destination for early humans and animals in the Nefud Desert.
 
Image, red stone. Text, Aspects of the culture of some of these early inhabitants are recorded in petroglyphs and inscriptions carved into the rock of Jabel Umm Sinman.
 
Because of its exceptional cultural and historical significance, Jabel Umm Sinman is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
The map recedes until we have the whole Earth before us.
 
Text, where on earth?