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Madagascar’s Red Laterite Soil – July 28th, 2011

18S 45.2E

July 28th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Sediments

Madagascar - July 23rd, 2011

This image shows the western coastline of Madagascar, along the Strait of Mozambique. Much of the shoreline is lined by orange-red sediments. Their color is due to the island-nation’s red laterite soil.

Moving inland, Madagascar’s highlands, a plateau region in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 2,450 to 4,400 ft (747 to 1,341 m) above sea level, can be easily distinguished. The densely populated central highlands are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy, deforested hills. Here, erosion has exposed the island’s soil, causing the plateau to appear more red in color than the coastal areas.

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