Namib Desert Dunes

July 19, 2011

NamibDLIMGP7072 (2) 
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Photographer: David Lynch
Summary Author: David Lynch; Larry Kemp

July 2011 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The Namib Desert of Namibia and Angola is a land of superlatives. Covering approximately 31,000 sq mi (80,000 sq km), about the area of Austria or the U.S. state of South Carolina, it’s one of the largest arid areas on the planet as well as one of the world's largest nature preserves. Access is highly restricted due to the forbidding terrain and few roads, virtually all of them dirt. However, near Sossusvlei, at the terminus of the usually dry Tsauchab River, a road in the Namid-Naukluft National Park of Namibia leads into the heart of some of the highest dunes on the planet -- up to 1000 ft (300 m) high. This vast dune field surrounds the visitor with stunning views, especially in the early morning or late afternoon when the Sun is low in the sky. The two pictures above show an abstract image of a large dune near Sossusvlei (top) and an aerial photo of the dunes extending to the Atlantic Ocean (bottom).

Photo details: Top - Camera Maker: PENTAX; Camera Model: PENTAX K200D; Focal Length: 250.0mm (35mm equivalent: 375mm); Aperture: f/6.7; Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Landscape Mode; White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB. Bottom - same except: Focal Length: 55.0mm (35mm equivalent: 82mm); Exposure Time: 0.0056 s (1/180); ISO equiv: 100.