image-of-the-week-2016-12-05

Natural Wonders of South Africa Series - The Richtersveld

Landsat 8 natural colour composite image showing the Richtersveld. Acquired on 19 September 2016, the 753 natural band combination shows 8,000 square kilometres of coastal plain and sandveld, and to the east of that, the true Richtersveld – 3 000 square kilometres of geologically complex desert mountainland.

Lying inland from the coast between the mouth of the Orange River and Port Nolloth, The Richtersveld is characterised by rugged kloofs and high mountains. Scant rainfall, no permanent water source, tiny stone plants found nowhere else, the unusual halfmens, and spring daisies that defy the barren rock and stone are the hallmarks of this barren beauty. Legend has it that the Richtersveld Halfmens (i.e. desert plant with the mystical name Halfmens or “Half Person”) derives its name from the ancestors of the Bushmen who were driven south by warlike tribes from the north. Some turned to look back across the Orange River and were turned into 'halfmens' (half people), forever gazing northwards.

Image credits:

Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey.

 

Attachments:
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image-of-the-week-2016-11-29

Natural Wonders of South Africa Series - The Orange River

Landsat 8 false colour composite image showing a portion of the Orange rive. Acquired on 22 March 2016, the 564 band combination shows built-up features for Upington, Northern Cape in shades of pink, purple and grey, water in black, and healthy vegetation and irrigated fields as bright red. The heart shaped structure visible on the eastern bank is Khi One Solar, a 50 Megawatt solar power plant.

The Orange river is the longest river in South Africa. For millions of years diamonds have been carried to the Atlantic by the Orange River, making it one of the richest alluvial diamond fields in the world. As the collection point for the majority of South Africa's water, the Orange River plays a major role in supporting agriculture, industry and mining.

Image credits:

Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey.

Attachments:
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image-of-the-week-2016-11-23

Natural Wonders of South Africa 7 – The Little Karoo

A 3D drape of SPOT6/7 mosaic imagery, acquired 2016 showing an oblique view of the Little Karoo. Oudtshoorn, the "ostrich capital of the world" can be seen in the distance, nestled in the foothills of the Swartberg mountains.

The Little Karoo lies sandwiched between two huge ranges of folded mountains that run west to east across the Western Cape. Nestled in the foothills of the Swartberg range near the town of Oudtshoorn is the Cango fault and world famous, Cango Caves. The caves were created by the same process which hollowed out the Sterkfontein cave system in Gauteng and possess some of the most extensive and beautiful dripstone collections in the world.

Image credits:

Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. SPOT6: Copyright © 2013 Airbus DS. All rights reserved. SPOT6: Copyright © 2014 Airbus DS. All rights reserved.

Attachments:
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Monitoring floods in Gauteng and other parts of the country

Setjwetla informal settlement

With the devastating flash floods that occurred in Gauteng last week and expected heavy rainfalls in the coming days, it is important that people are aware of flood prone areas and take precautionary measures in time, to mitigate the impact on infrastructure damage and possible loss of lives.

image-of-the-week-2016-11-14

Natural Wonders of South Africa 6 – The Drakensberg

Landsat 8 image of the Drakensberg acquired 2016-08-10 with snow cover observable on the Lesotho side (toward the left of the image). Snow cover appears bright pink In the 564 false colour composite (R: Near Infrared, G: Shortwave Infrared 1, B: Red). This spectral combination is particularly useful for distinguishing snow cover from cloud cover.

The towering basalt peaks, buttresses, rock walls and steeples of the Drakensberg, on top of which rests the Lesotho plateau, soars over 3 Km for more than 200 Km. The region experiences a variety of weather – up to four times a day in summer, electric storms may arise and May through August are characterised with heavy snowfalls on its summits. The Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area was established to preserve some of the high mountain areas of the range. The Drakensberg area is home to 299 recorded bird species making up "37% of all non-marine avian species in southern Africa.

Image credits:
Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey.

Attachments:
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