NASA’s Landsat 8 captured Oleshky Sands, Ukraine.
Oleshky Sands National Nature Park is a national park of Ukraine, located south of the lower Dniester River about 25 km east of the regional city of Kherson, and 70 km northwest of the Crimean Peninsula. The park features expanses of low-fertility soil and sand, and a variety of unusual microhabitats. Researchers are uncertain what made the area turn to desert. One theory is that the land is a dried riverbed of the Dnieper River (the modern-day course runs north of this image). A common explanation, however, is that millions of sheep that were pastured here in the 18th and 19th centuries initiated the desertification, which has since been sustained by wildfire and wind erosion.
The local scenery on the ground is as follows.