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Rocky and Sandy Zones of Namib Desert, Namibia – December 15th, 2011

18.7S 16.4E

December 15th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Salt Flats

Namibia - December 11th, 2011

This image shows the Namib Desert, along the coast of southern Angola and Namibia. The desert occupies an area of around 80,950 km² (31,200 square miles), stretching from the Usiab River (north) to the town of Lüderitz (south) and from the Atlantic Ocean (west) to the Namib Escarpment (east).

It is about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) long from north to south and its east-west width varies from 30 to 100 miles (50–160 km) The desert can be divided into two distinct sections: rocky desert to the north and sandy desert to the south.

The Southern Namib comprises a vast dune sea with some of the tallest and most spectactular dunes of the world, ranging in color from pink to vivid orange. In the Sossusvlei area, several dunes exceed 300 meters (984 ft) in height.

Visible further inland at the upper right is the Etosha Pan, a large endorheic salt pan, forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia. The 120-kilometre-long (75-mile-long) lakebed is dry mud coated with salt for most of the year, but after a heavy rain it will acquire a thin layer of water.

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