Monday, May 05, 2008

Desert Vs Highway

Some remarkable images from Fogonazos of a desert highway in China and the battle to keep the sands from swallowing up the road :
The Tarim Desert Highway crosses the Taklamakan desert from north to south. The total length of the highway is 552km; approximately 446km of the highway cross uninhabited areas covered by shifting sand dunes, making it the longest such highway in the world. To prevent the road from being buried by sand, China authorities have built a 60-meter-wide tree belt along the route provided with a massive irrigation system which pump water for the vegetation.

The highway was built in 1995 to move oil from the Tarim Basin, China's largest inland basin. Though the highway was built using sand-control meshing, the most effective method a decade ago, many sections of the highway were buried by floating sand, which moves at an annual rate of five meters.
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