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Etosha Pan and Phytoplankton Bloom Near Namib Desert, Namibia

18.7S 16.4E

April 3rd, 2012 Category: Deserts, Phytoplankton, Salt Flats

Namibia - March 18th, 2012

Several interesting features of Namibia can be observed in this image: the Etosha Pan (above, center) and the Namib Desert (along the coast). The Etosha Pan is a large endorheic salt pan, forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia. The pan is mostly dry but after a heavy rain it will acquire a thin layer of water, which is heavily salted by the mineral deposits on its surface.

The Namib desert shows a contrast between the gravelly northern half and the sandy southern half, characterized by tall, orange-red sand dunes. Visible offshore is a faint phytoplankton bloom, common in the area due to the mixing of warm and cold ocean currents.

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