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Posts tagged Ras Nouadhibou Peninsula

Mauritania’s Coastal Zone and Ras Nouadhibou Peninsula

20.9N 17W

November 12th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Mauritania - October 4th, 2009

Mauritania - October 4th, 2009

The Coastal Zone, or Sub-Canarian Zone, extends the length of Mauritania’s approximately 754-kilometer-long Atlantic shoreline. Prevailing oceanic trade winds from the Canary Islands modify the influence of the harmattan, producing a humid but temperate climate.

Rainfall here is minimal; in Nouadhibou it averages less than three centimeters annually and occurs between July and September. Battering surf and shifting sand banks characterize the entire length of the shoreline. Here, some dust can be seen blowing southwest off the coast.

One interesting feature of the coastline, visible near the center, is the Ras Nouadhibou (formerly Cap Blanc) peninsula. It forms Dakhlet Nouadhibou (formerly Lévrier Bay) to the east, and is fifty kilometers long and up to thirteen kilometers wide.

The peninsula is administratively divided between Western Sahara (north) and Mauritania (south), with the Mauritanian port and railhead of Nouadhibou located on the eastern shore. Dakhlet Nouadhibou, one of the largest natural harbors on the west coast of Africa, is fortythree kilometers long and thirty-two kilometers wide at its broadest point.

Cloud Vortices South of Canary Islands

28.2N 16.6W

May 19th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Cloud vortices off Moroccan coast - May 17th, 2009

Cloud vortices off Moroccan coast - May 17th, 2009

A loose cloud vortex can be seen off the coast of Western Sahara and Morocco, to the South of the Canary Islands. There are also several curved areas where vortices could be forming or dissipating.  (Cloud vortices have been observed in this area on several occasions; click here for previous articles).

In the full image, the Gulf of Arguin is visible near the bottom, south of the Ras Nouadhibou Peninsula, which marks the border between Western Sahara (above) and Mauritania (below). The waters of the gulf are colored bright green due to rich phytoplankton growth.

The Richat Structure, Mauritania – April 24th, 2009

April 24th, 2009 Category: Image of the day

Morocco and Mauritania - April 9th, 2009

Morocco and Mauritania - April 9th, 2009

Richat Structure - source: NASA

Richat Structure

The Ras Nouadhibou Peninsula (upper left) marks the border Morocco’s Western Sahara (above) and Mauritania (below). The Gulf of Arguin, lies just south of the peninsula.

Another border, between Mauritania and Senegal, is marked by the Senegal River.

Moving inland from the Atlantic Ocean into Mauritania, an odd, circular feature can be observed (open full image for best view). This is the Richat Structure, a prominent ringed indentation in the Sahara desert near Ouadane.

It has attracted attention since the earliest space missions because it forms a conspicuous bull’s-eye in the otherwise rather featureless expanse of the desert. The structure has a diameter of almost 50 kilometres (30 miles).

Initially interpreted as a meteorite impact structure because of its high degree of circularity, it is now thought to be a symmetrical uplift (circular anticline or dome) that has been laid bare by erosion. Paleozoic quartzites form the resistant beds outlining the structure.

The close-up image is a false-colored topographic reconstruction from satellite photos. The false coloring shows the geological composition and vegetation of the area using the following color scheme: bedrock is brown, sand is yellow or white, vegetation is green, and salty sediments are blue.