You are here:   Home > Resources > Al Ain/Buraimi > River in the Sand
  |  Login
Edit Album Re-Order the Album Images

River In The Sand

In September, 2009, one of our weekend field trips took us to Wadi Safwan, Parakeet Park and Wadi Sharm. Earlier in the day, rain had fallen along the foothills of the Hajar Mountains between Khadrah and Musah. The showers continued during the day, soaking the sand along the northern side of Wadi Sharm and, we learned later, causing strong winds, thunder and lighting, and isolated heavy showers in Al Ain.

  • A co-operative agamid posed for photographs
  • An agamid surprised at the river and our convoy
  • The muddy stream with dunes near Nuway
  • No rain fell on our convoy
  • The stream extending towards the setting sun
  • Calotropis bushes as impromptu islands
  • Calotropis procera blossom
  • The stream heading westward toward the setting sun
  • Stream expanded in width as flow rate increased
  • Members enjoying the rare sight
  • The stream was carrying quantities of silt
  • Everyone was amazed at rate the stream extended
  • A photograph showing the quickly moving stream
  • In minutes the stream had widened
  • Water extended several 100 m in less than 10 min.
  • Sunset provided unique opportunities for photos
  • A second stream nearby was creeping closer

After visiting Parakeet Park, the stand of mature ghaf trees in the sand wadi filled with Calotropis procera bushes, we headed across the sand towards the Swiss Mountains.

We were pleasantly surprised to see a number of streams in the desert sand, the water forming a channel faster than members could keep pace. We observed a number of streams as we made our way across the sandy end of Wadi Sharm where it intersects Wadi Safwan.

Rivers in the desert are rare but do take place when heavy rains pass over the sand. They often last for only an hour or two before the water has spread of the flat sand wadi and been absorbed, continuing to flow beneath the surface and providing much needed moisture for the existing vegetation.

ENHG members Chris Watson, Penny Chan, Eva Lagasse, Roland Ochmann and Peter Dickason have shared these photographs.

Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan