Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the Kalahari Desert, which covers much of Botswana, and parts of Namibia and South Africa.
In this image, which was captured by a camera system on the International Space Station, ancient rocks and sand dunes are visible. You can also see South Africa’s largest river, the Orange River, winding toward the Atlantic Ocean.
In an area of the Kalahari Desert that is known locally as the Duineveld, or dune country, sand dunes stand out in a strong orange color. Scattered throughout the dunes are “sinuous hills” made up of dark-toned rocks.
According to NASA, these rocks were folded and faulted around one billion years ago by mountain-building forces similar to those currently raising the Himalayas. Over millions of years, erosion planed off the mountains and formed the low hills that we see in the Kalahari Desert today.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer