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19/05/2010

Sossusvlei, Namib Desert, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia


This photo was taken in Namibia. Sossusvlei is a salt pan in the central Namib Desert, lying within the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Fed by the Tsauchab River, it is known for the high, red sand dunes which surround it, forming a major and impressive sand sea.
The Namib Desert is a desert in Namibia and southwest Angola that forms part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The name "Namib" is of Nama origin and means vast.
The desert occupies an area of around 80 900 km², stretching about 1,600 km along the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia. Its east-west width varies from 50-160 km. The Namib Desert also reaches into southwest Angola. It is one of the 500 distinct physiographic provinces of the South African Platform physiographic division.
Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for at least 55 million years, it is considered to be the oldest desert in the world. The Namib's aridity is caused by the descent of dry air of the Hadley Cell, cooled by the cold Benguela current along the coast. It has less than 10 mm of rain annually and is almost completely barren.
Although the desert is largely unpopulated and inaccessible, there are year-round settlements at Sesriem, close to the famous Sossusvlei and a huge group of sand dunes, which at more than 300 meters (984 ft) high are among the tallest sand dunes in the world. The complexity and regularity of dune patterns in its dune sea have attracted the attention of geologists for decades. They still remain poorly understood.

1 comment:

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Though arid, miserably dry and hot, it is a beauty to behold.