The Arid Lands

  • David Grigg
Part of the Focal Problems in Geography book series


The general-characteristics of the arid zone are well known: precipitation is low and variable, evaporation rates high; vegetation is sparse, floristically poor and either drought-resistant or drought- evading, and soils are shallow, saline and have little organic matter. Rivers are widely spaced, intermittent in flow and generally drain not to the sea but to interior lakes or playas. There have been numerous attempts to define the arid zone on the basis of one of these criteria; thus it has been calculated that 35 per cent of the earth’s land surface has xeromorphic vegetation, 43 per cent pedocal soils and 35 per cent interior drainage.1 But the most common definitions are based on climatic criteria, as is that of Peveril Meigs, which is followed here.2


Ground Water Irrigation Water Crop Yield Middle East Irrigate Area 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© David Grigg 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Grigg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of SheffieldUK

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