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