The Registan Desert or Rigestan Desert, is an extremely arid plateau region located in southwestern Afghanistan. It is a sandy desert consisting of small, red sand hills about 15–30m high, sand-covered plains, and open rocky and clay-covered areas. The underlying base of the hills consists of partly stabilized ancient transverse dunes, reflecting a west-to-east wind and nearly unlimited sand supply. The Registan Desert is migrating westward, encroaching on former agricultural areas. The United Nations Environment Programme team reports that “up to 100 villages have been submerged by windblown dust and sand”. In the country’s northwest, sand dunes are moving onto agricultural land, their path cleared by the loss of stabilizing vegetation from firewood gathering and overgrazing.
The local scenery on the ground is as follows.