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Unusually big year for Tottori oasis

The Yomiuri Shimbun

An aerial photo of the oasis in the Tottori Sand Dunes on Sunday

The Yomiuri Shimbun TOTTORI — An oasis that regularly emerges in the Tottori Sand Dunes due to an upswell of groundwater has grown bigger than usual, attracting tourists to the site.

The oasis appears between autumn and spring near a small rise called Umanose, meaning horseback. According to the Tottori prefectural government’s supervising office, it has expanded incrementally since late February. Measurements on March 1 found it to be 1.37 meters deep — the usual depth is about 70 to 95 centimeters — and covering about 5,500 square meters, about 1.5 times its typical size.

In mid-February, the city saw over 90 centimeters of accumulated snow for the first time in 33 years. The office believes the melting of the snow increased the amount of groundwater.

“I think it’s the first time that the oasis has become that large,” office head Toshiaki Hotta said.

A vocational school student who came from Abeno Ward, Osaka, with a friend said: “It’s overwhelming to see it up close. The oasis forms a beautiful contrast with the sand.”Speech


[Released on March 6, 2017]

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