Dec 21, 2016

Picture of the Day: The Linear Dunes of the Namib Sand Sea from Space

linear dunes namib sand sea nasa iss 1 Picture of the Day: The Linear Dunes of the Namib Sand Sea from Space

Photograph by NASA

 

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) used a 500mm lens to document what crews have termed one of the most spectacular features of the planet: the dunes of the Namib Sand Sea. [source]

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Namib Sand Sea is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog. Covering an area of over three million hectares and a buffer zone of 899,500 hectares, the site is composed of two dune systems, an ancient semi-consolidated one overlain by a younger active one. [source]

The desert dunes are formed by the transportation of materials thousands of kilometres from the hinterland, that are carried by river, ocean current and wind. It features gravel plains, coastal flats, rocky hills, inselbergs within the sand sea, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers, resulting in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Fog is the primary source of water in the site, accounting for a unique environment in which endemic invertebrates, reptiles and mammals adapt to an ever-changing variety of microhabitats and ecological niches. [source]

 

via NASA

 

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