in MauritaniaIn the middle of the Sahara Desert, located AA massive geological marvel known as the Eye of the Desert. This circular structure with a diameter of 40 kilometers is a true spectacle of nature and can be easily seen from space. Astronauts on space missions have admired this geological formation for decades, and its origin has been the subject of intense debate and research.
Searching for clues to the complex origin of the Sahara Eye
Contrary to many theories that suggested that the Eye of the Desert was the result of a meteorite impact, some researchers recently believe that its formation is much more complex and fascinating.
Circular vane structure, As it is officially known, it is located in The northwestern part of the Taoudeni Basin, In the central Mauritanian highlands of Adrar.
She stands out in the scene because she is one A slightly oval depression, surrounded by concentric ridges of rocks dating from the Proterozoic era to Lower Paleolithic. This structure is unique, as it is characterized by layers of highly resistant quartzite rocks, which form outcrops, while the valleys between them are composed of less resistant rocks.
The Eye of the Desert is actually the result of A dome of molten rock rises Once it reached the surface, it was sculpted over millions of yearsErosive action of wind and water. Contrary to the previous meteorite impact theory, recent geological investigations indicate that this formation is from Magma origin and intrusiveness.
It also consists of a A dolomitic limestone platform covered for kilometers with a massive layer of silica, which in turn are subject to intrusions of small basalt rings and alkaline volcanic rocks. Despite everything, the origin of the Ain al-Sahara still fascinates scientists, turning it into a geological mystery that challenges traditional theories.
The geological mystery from space also surprises and challenges researchers
Research into the origins of Ain al-Sahara dates back to the 1950sWhen it was first identified in aerial photographs. Since then scholars from various fields, however Geologists in particular have devoted themselves to uncovering the secrets of this structure. In recent field research, in which multidisciplinary teams in the fields of geology and geophysics participated, Magmatic and intrusive origin are confirmed. The Rishat Ring Structure, once thought to be a meteorite impact crater, is now viewed as a superposition of several igneous rocks, including gabbroic ring dikes attached to a large intrusive rock body.
One of the most notable features of Ain Al Sahara is the way it is shaped The appearance changes depending on the viewing angle. When viewed from space, it looks like a giant target, sometimes compared to a 40-kilometre-wide flying saucer. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station highlighted the vitality of this formation in the desert landscape.
but, The view at ground level is much less impressiveWhich often indicates a lack of recognition of the structure. The explanation for this phenomenon comes from the fact that, At ground level, Ain Al Sahara loses its distinctive appearance. The geological structure is not easily seen at lower elevations and can blend into the surrounding terrain.
For Mauritanians, visiting Ain Sahara entails a desert adventure that few tourists would want to undertake. Few people have the privilege of immersing themselves in the grandeur of this geological formation because of it Inhospitable locationalthough the path can be of great wealth.
Moreover, the nearby city of Ouaddan is a historical site that bears witness to this The rich cultural and commercial heritage of the region. It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site It dates back to the time when Mauritania played a central role in the trans-Saharan salt trade. Today, cities like Ouadane and Chinguetti are home to ancient monuments and libraries that tell the story of a time when the Islamic world was a pioneer in the fields of science and technology.
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