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Unusual landforms include the Richat Structure in Mauritania.
Several deeply dissected mountains, many volcanic, rise from the desert, including the Aïr Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains, Adrar des Iforas, and the Red Sea hills.
The sinking air prevents evaporating water from rising and, therefore, prevents the adiabatic cooling, which makes cloud formation extremely difficult to nearly impossible.
The permanent dissolution of clouds allows unhindered light and thermal radiation.
is comparable to the area of China or the United States.
The desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, and the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan.
This steady descending airflow causes a warming and a drying effect in the upper troposphere.
The stability of the atmosphere above the desert prevents any convective overturning, thus making rainfall virtually non-existent.
As a consequence, the weather tends to be sunny, dry and stable with a minimal risk of rainfall.
The highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a shield volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad.
The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation.