Ice and Dunes

Ice and dunes in Ulaagchinii Khar Nuur in Mongolia.

Although dunes are usually associated with scorching climates, they can form in any desert, including in the frozen steppes of western Mongolia. This sunrise photo, taken by an astronaut aboard the ISS, shows Ulaagchinii Khar Nuur. The ice-covered Khar Nuur Lake surrounds two islands, Big and Small Avgash, and cold dunes form textured streaks on either side. The low sun angle accentuates the dunes, making every rippling crest clear. (Image credit: NASA; via NASA Earth Observatory)

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