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Search Results for ""Namib Desert"":

Clouds Along the Namib Desert Coast, Namibia

24.7S 15.2E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

The sands of the Namib Desert appear orange near the coast, changing to rusty red further inland. The desert stretches along 2000 km (1200 mi) of Namibia’s coastline. It is common to see clouds and fog hugging the shoreline, as can be observed here, a phenomenon caused by the interaction of moist sea air and dry desert air.

East of the desert, whose average width of the desert is only 113 km (70 mi), are the Naukluft Mountains in the Hardap Region. This massif in central Namibia forms the easternmost part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. They are known for their wildlife, including mountain zebras and leopards. The mountains have many small streams and waterfalls, while the Never Ending Hills lie to their east.

Orange Dunes of the Namib Desert, Namibia – July 18th, 2009

24.7S 15.2E

July 18th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Namib Desert - June 20th, 2009

Namib Desert - June 20th, 2009

Stretching 1,200 miles in length, but averaging a width of only 70 miles, the Namib Desert is home to the highest sand dunes in the world. Here, the crests of the red and orange dunes of the Namib dune sea create long lines parallel to the coast.

In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by aeolian processes. Dunes are subject to different forms and sizes based on their interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dune are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune, and a shorter “slip face” in the lee of the wind. The “valley” or trough between dunes is called a slack.

Some coastal areas have one or more sets of dunes running parallel to the shoreline directly inland from the beach. In most cases the dunes are important in protecting the land against potential ravages by storm waves from the sea. Although the most widely distributed dunes are those associated with coastal regions, the largest complexes of dunes are found inland in dry regions and associated with ancient lake or sea beds.

Rusty Red Dunes of the Namib Desert, Namibia

24.7S 15.2E

May 24th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Namib Desert - May 13th, 2009

Namib Desert - May 13th, 2009

The Namib Desert, which appears  orange and rusty red, stretches 2000 km (1200 mi) along the southwestern African coast, where a burning desert touches an icy sea. In contrast to its length, the average width of the desert is only 113 km (70 mi).

The hyper-arid Namib ecosystem is greatly affected by ocean winds and the Benguela Current. They temper the climate of the coastal desert, bringing life to the shores, and allowing for sediments deposited into the ocean to be carried back inland to form the Namib’s extensive dunes, the highest in the world.

These dunes are surrounded by arid plains, which never receive enough rainfall to permit grasses and shrubs to gain a foothold and colonize them.

Although there are other coastal deserts bounded by cool ocean currents, the Namib is the only desert in the world where endemic flora and fauna have evolved in virtually vegetationless dunes.

Namib Desert and Great Escarpment, Namibia

March 19th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Namib Desert, Namibia - March 13th, 2009

Namib Desert, Namibia - March 13th, 2009

The barren Namib Desert is identifiable as the flatter area along the coast of Namibia, colored deep red and orange by its sands. Part of South Africa’s shoreline is also visible towards the bottom.

The second-largest desert in Africa, the Namib has an area of around 80 900 km² (31 200 square miles), and covers about 1000 miles (1,600 km) of Atlantic coastline.

While the Atlantic Ocean provides a border to the West, its eastern border is created by the Great Escarpment, which swiftly rises to over 2,000 meters (6,562 ft). Average temperatures and temperature ranges increase as one moves further inland from the cold Atlantic waters, while the lingering coastal fogs slowly diminish.

Although the area is rocky with poorly developed soils, it is nonetheless significantly more productive than the Namib Desert.  As summer winds are forced over the Escarpment, moisture is extracted as precipitation. The water, along with rapidly changing topography, is responsible for the creation of microhabitats which offer a wide range of organisms, many of them endemic.

Vegetation along the Escarpment varies in both form and density, with community structure ranging from dense woodlands to more shrubby areas with scattered trees. A number of Acacia species are found here, as well as grasses and other shrubby vegetation.

Dunes and the Sossusvlei Clay Pan, Namib Desert – February 24th, 2009

February 24th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Namib Desert, Namibia - February 22nd, 2009

Namib Desert, Namibia - February 22nd, 2009

Close-up of dunes and Sossusvlei

Close-up of dunes and Sossusvlei

The rich red and orange tones of the Namib Desert, in Namibia, are contrasted by the deep blue of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Namib, which occupies an area of around 80 900 km² (31 200 square miles, stretching about 1000 miles (1,600 km) along the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia, is Africa’s second largest desert.

It has less than 10 mm (0.4 inches) of rain annually and is almost completely barren.

The close-up shows the ridges of the dunes in the desert, as well as Sossusvlei (grey line towards the center).

Sossusvlei is a clay pan fed by the Tsauchab River. It is known for the high, red sand dunes which surround it forming a major sand sea. Vegetation, such as the camelthorn tree, is watered by infrequent floods of the Tsauchab River, which slowly soak into the underlying clay.

In the full image, the mouth of the Orange River can be seen dicharging sediments into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay.