Is there a difference in meaning or usage between “desolate” and “deserted” (used to describe a place)?
Desolate refers to a general emptiness.
(of a place) uninhabited and giving an impression of bleak emptiness. Oxford Dictionary
Deserted implies that the place had people (or animals, etc.) occupying it at some point but has since been abandoned.
(of a place) empty of people. Oxford Dictionary
Used in a sentence together:
This city was once surrounded by farm fields, but a plague killed the crops. The people left the city and left it deserted. Now, with ruined silhouettes and a wasteland where nothing grows around it, the area looks desolate.