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Posts tagged Namib-Naukluft National Park

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.

Clouds Along the Namib Desert Coast, Namibia

24.7S 15.2E

November 25th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

Namibia - November 16th, 2009

The sands of the Namib Desert appear orange near the coast, changing to rusty red further inland. The desert stretches along 2000 km (1200 mi) of Namibia’s coastline. It is common to see clouds and fog hugging the shoreline, as can be observed here, a phenomenon caused by the interaction of moist sea air and dry desert air.

East of the desert, whose average width of the desert is only 113 km (70 mi), are the Naukluft Mountains in the Hardap Region. This massif in central Namibia forms the easternmost part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. They are known for their wildlife, including mountain zebras and leopards. The mountains have many small streams and waterfalls, while the Never Ending Hills lie to their east.

Coastline of Namibia and South Africa – November 13th, 2008

November 13th, 2008 Category: Image of the day

Coastline of Namibia and South Africa - November 9th, 2008

Coastline of Namibia and South Africa - November 9th, 2008

Close-up of the Namib Desert, Namibia

Close-up of the Namib Desert, Namibia

In our main image we have the coastline of Namibia and South Africa. The Orange River, below the Namibian Desert, marks the border with South Africa.

Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa on the Atlantic coast. It shares borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east, and South Africa (from which it became independent in 1990) to the south.

Namibia’s capital city is Windhoek. With an estimated population 1,820,916, it is the second most sparsely populated country in the world after Mongolia.

Our first image detail focuses on the Namib Desert, for which Namibia was given its name.

The Namib Desert is a desert in Namibia and southwest Angola which forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The desert is Africa’s second largest.

Dunes in the Namib Desert © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

Dunes in the Namib Desert © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen

The desert occupies an area of around 80 900 km² (31 200 square miles), stretching about 1000 miles (1,600 km) along the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia.

The area is considered to be one of the oldest deserts in the world. It has less than 10 mm (0.4 inches) of rain annually and is almost completely barren.

The interaction between the water-laden air coming from the sea via southerly winds, some of the strongest of any coastal desert, and the dry air of the desert causes immense fogs and strong currents, causing sailors to lose their way or to become shipwrecked. Such a fog cloud is visible off the coast in our image.

Phytoplankton off the shore of South Africa

Phytoplankton off the shore of South Africa

The Republic of South Africa, on the other hand, is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa. The South African coast stretches 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) and borders both the Atlantic and Indian oceans. As of midyear 2007, the South African population was estimated at 47.9 million.

In this close-up image we can see a phytoplankton bloom off the Atlantic Coast of South Africa, to the northwest of the Cape of Good Hope. The city of Cape Town is also visible.

This region has a dramatically different climate from that of the desertous region of Namibia we were observing previously: the Cape Peninsula has a Mediterranean climate with well-defined seasons. In winter, which lasts from May to September, large cold fronts come across from the Atlantic Ocean with heavy precipitation and strong north-westerly winds. Most of the city’s annual rainfall occurs in wintertime. Summer, which lasts from November to March, is warm and dry.

source Wikipedia