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Posts tagged KwaZulu-Natal

Vegetation Index of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa – January 7th, 2010

28.8S 30.4E

January 7th, 2010 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

South Africa - December 17th, 2009

South Africa - December 17th, 2009

While South Africa has a great wealth of flowering plants, only 1% of South Africa is forest, almost exclusively in the humid coastal plain of KwaZulu-Natal, where there are also areas of Southern Africa mangroves in river mouths.

This fact is reflected in the vegetation index show in this FAPAR image, as the red and dark green areas indicative of high photosynthetic activity are mostly located in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

There are even smaller reserves of forests that are out of the reach of fire, known as montane forests. Plantations of imported tree species are predominant, particularly the non-native eucalyptus and pine.

South Africa has lost a large area of natural habitat in the last four decades, primarily due to overpopulation, sprawling development patterns and deforestation during the nineteenth century. The original temperate forest found by the first European settlers was exploited ruthlessly until only small patches remained.

South Africa is also one of the worst affected countries in the world when it comes to invasion by alien species with many posing a significant threat to the native biodiversity and the already scarce water resources.

Mountains and Hills of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

29.7S 30.7E

December 15th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

South Africa - November 30th, 2009

South Africa - November 30th, 2009

ThisĀ orthorectified image shows the three different geographic areas of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. The lowland region along the Indian Ocean coast is extremely narrow in the south, widening in the northern part of the province. The central region is the Natal Midlands and is an undulating hilly plateau rising towards the west. There are also two mountainous areas, the Drakensberg Mountains in the west and the Lebombo Mountains in the north.

The Drakensberg is a solid wall of basalt rising over 3,000 m (9,800 ft) skyward near the Lesotho border, whilst the Lebombo Mountains are ancient granite mountains forming low parallel ranges running southward from Swaziland. The Tugela River flows west to east across the center of the province and is the region’s largest river.

Visible near the right edge is the reservoir created by the Inanda Dam on the Umgeni River, in the Valley of a Thousand Hills below Hillcrest. The Umgeni River, occasionally called the Mgeni River, rises in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands and meets the sea at Durban. The river is approximately 232 km long with a catchment area of 4,432 kmĀ².