Reference Terms
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Desert

In geography, a desert is a landscape form or region that receives very little precipitation.

Generally deserts are defined as areas that receive an average annual precipitation of less than 250 mm (10 inches).

The terminology used to define deserts is complex. 'True deserts' where vegetation cover is exceedingly sparse, correspond to the 'hyperarid regions of the earth, where rainfall is exceedingly rare and infrequent.

Deserts are however part of a wider classification of regions that, on an average annual basis, have a moisture deficit (i.e. they can potentially lose more than is received).

These areas are collectively called 'drylands.'

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Desert", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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July 3, 2015

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