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Natural Wonders of South Africa 4 – Blyde River Canyon

SPOT6 image acquired 2015-04-30 showing the Blyde River Canyon, South Africa’s only true canyon. The canyon follows the Blyde River as it cuts through the massive escarpment and plummets over 1000-metres from the highlands of the Drakensberg to the Lowveld below. The dramatic landscape draws countless visitors each year.

Image credits:

Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. SPOT 6 Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.

Attachments:
Access this URL (http://www.sansa.org.za/images/eo/image-of-the-week/2016/image-of-the-week-2016-10-31-161031_blyde_river_canyon_spot6_wallpaper.jpg)Download[Wallpaper]3243 kB

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Natural Wonders of South Africa 3 – Paarl Rock

SPOT-6 satellite image of Paarl Rock acquired 2015-04-26. The two domes observed were formed about 600 million years ago, embedded in a mass of rock that gradually eroded away, leaving the tops of the boulders exposed. One hundred and fifty million years later, the surface was covered over by sedimentary rock. Gradual weathering led to the two rounded boulders being exposed. The natural phenomena today distinguishes the town of Paarl at the foot of the mountain.

Image credits:
Produced at SANSA Earth Observation. SPOT 6 Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.

Attachments:
Access this URL (http://www.sansa.org.za/images/eo/image-of-the-week/2016/image-of-the-week-2016-10-21_paarl_rock_spot6_wallpaper_1920x1080.jpg)Download[Wallpaper]423 kB

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Natural Wonders of South Africa 2 – Langebaan Lagoon

 Langebaan Lagoon was formed by the rising and falling of sea levels during pre-historic times. Unlike most lagoons which form at a point where fresh water rivers enter the sea, Langebaan Lagoon is purely a salt water lagoon. It extends in a finger of water away from Saldanha Bay, its 16 Km’s controlled by tidal currents, tailing off into salt marshes and a cluster of salt pans, rich with water bird life. Saldaha Bay is home to West Coast Fossil Park, and the most prolific source of late tertiary vertebrate fossils in the world.

Attachments:
Access this URL (http://www.sansa.org.za/images/eo/image-of-the-week/2016/image-of-the-week-2016-10-14_langebaan_lagoon_landsat8_432_Wall.jpg)Download[Wallpaper]2206 kB

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Natural Wonders of South Africa 1 – Fynbos

The Fynbos ecoregion belt of natural shrubland and heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape is a well-known for its exceptional degree of biodiversity and endemism, consisting of about 80% (8,500 fynbos) species of the Cape floral kingdom where nearly 6,000 of them are endemic.

The Landsat 8 image acquired 2016-08-04 shows a 432 natural colour composite (R: Red, G: Green, B: Blue) and 562 false colour composite (R: Near Infrared, G: Shortwave Infrared 1, B: Blue). The 562 false colour composite depicts healthy vegetation as red, water in shades of black and blue, snow in shades of pink and purple, and Fynbos in shades of green and brown.

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

Attachments:
Access this URL (http://www.sansa.org.za/images/eo/image-of-the-week/2016/image-of-the-week-2016-10-07_fynbos_landsat8_432_562_wallpaper_1920x1080.jpg)Download[Wallpaper]2442 kB

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Verneukpan Spirals

Verneukpan is a dry salt pan south of Kenhardt in the province of the Northern Cape. The region contains very little vegetation, primarily very low shrubs and yellow grass amongst a rocky desert like landscape. The pan has in the past been used as grounds for land speed record attempts. In 1929, Sir Malcolm Campbell attempted to break the land speed record in his Napier-Campbell Blue bird and in 1952 Vic Proctor tried to set the world motorcycle record on his Vincent Black Lighting.

This SPOT 6 image captured in 2016 shows hundreds of spiral features which have been etched into the landscape. The origin of these spectacular spirals have caused controversy of late all around the world. Some have speculated that the spirals are remnants of an ancient Nazca like civilization while others believe they are the work of extra-terrestrial visitors. These spirals are actually irrigation/plowing circles which have been created with a contour trencher. The purpose being to break-up hard pans to trap rainfall and improve infiltration, and promote the rejuvenation of resident grasses and the germination, emergence, and establishment of seeded grasses.

Image credits: Map produced at SANSA Earth Observation. SPOT 6 Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved.

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