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A volcanic desert is an area devoid of vegetation because of volcanic activity. Usually the term is applied to larger areas such as the Highlands of Iceland, the Rangipo Desert in New Zealand or Cordón Caulle in Chile. Occasionally the term is used for relatively small regions such as the Kaʻū Desert on the island of Hawai'i. Volcanic deserts may have enough precipitation to sustain vegetation, but due to repeated covering of tephra and acid rain after eruptions and high percolation and infiltration rates of water, vegetation is scarce. In addition to this volcanic desert shows often poor or little soil formation due to slow chemical weathering caused by cold climate or coarse tephra.
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