The Richat Structure in the Sahara Desert of Mauritania is easily visible from space because it is nearly 50 kilometers across. Once thought to be an impact crater, the Richat Structure’s flat middle and lack of shock-altered rock indicates otherwise. The possibility that the Richat Structure was formed by a volcanic eruption also seems improbable because of the lack of a dome of igneous or volcanic rock. Rather, the layered sedimentary rock of the Richat structure is now thought by many to have been caused by uplifted rock sculpted by erosion.
In Eastern Algeria’s stretch of the Sahara, the Tifernine Dune Field - a section of the Grand Erg Oriental dune sea - meets the Tinrhert Plateau, as seen in a 2008 astronaut photograph.