Deserts are arid ecosystems that receive fewer than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of precipitation a year. Death Valley, California, above, receives fewer than 5 centimeters (2 inches) of rainfall every year. However, Death Valley's infrequent rain and extreme temperatures can impact the landscape. This rock's path was created when rainfall produced a shallow lake, which formed a thin layer of ice. The rock was trapped in the ice as it scoured the desert landscape. The ice melted, leaving its tracks in the dried mud.

Photograph by Steve Zappe, MyShot
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desert Encyclopedic Entry

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Deserts are areas that receive very little precipitation.