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Silting along West Coast of Madagascar

January 22nd, 2009 Category: Rivers

West coast of Madagascar - January 12th, 2009

West coast of Madagascar - January 12th, 2009

On the west coast of Madagascar there are many protected harbours, but silting is a major problem caused by sediment from the high levels of erosion inland.

Such sediments can be seen in the Mangoky River, which appears brown in this image, taken on January 12th,before the arrival of the Eric (08S) and Fanele (09S) double cyclone threat. The Mangoky is a 564-kilometer-long (350 mi) river that rises in the Central Highlands of Madagascar.

Most of Madagascar has undergone serious deforestation during the last 40 years, which has led to extreme soil erosion in the Mangoky River basin, as evidenced by the many sandbars located within the river channel.

Silt-laden, greenish-tan Lake Ihotry is clearly discernible south of the river. It is a closed saline lake in the semi-arid southwestern part of Madagascar. Its area varies seasonally, from 96 km² to 112 km².

Between the lake and the coast is a rather large, whitish-beige area of sand interspersed with silt-laden ponds.

The southern portion of the delta is dominated by successive barrier island and spit formation. At the very bottom, some of the coral reef off the coast of Toliara is visible

In contrast, the northern, protected portion of the delta is dominated by tidal passes and mangrove swamps.

source Wikipedia

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