Landscapes And Landforms Of South Africa PdfBy Marco S. In and pdf 23.03.2021 at 11:20 10 min read
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- Geography and climate
- Landscapes and Landforms of South Africa
- Landscapes and Landforms of South Africa
Geography and climate
This book presents a beautifully illustrated overview of the most prominent landscapes of South Africa and the distinctive landforms associated with them. It describes the processes, origins and the environmental significance of those landscapes, including their relationships to human activity of the past and present.
The sites described in this book include, amongst others, the Blyde River Canyon, Augrabies Falls, Kruger National Park, Kalahari desert landscapes, the Great Escarpment, Sterkfontein caves and karst system, Table Mountain, Cape winelands, coastal dunes, rocky coasts, Boer War battlefield sites, and Vredefort impact structure.
This book will be relevant to those interested in the geology, physical geography and history of South Africa, climate change and landscape tourism. Erweiterte Suche. Springer Professional. Inhaltsverzeichnis Frontmatter Chapter 1. This chapter introduces the broader context for the diverse South African landscapes and landforms discussed in this book. Both earlier and more recent theories of landscape evolution are then highlighted, in particular given that some of these were locally founded but applied globally.
It is demonstrated that much of the South African macroscale geomorphology and site-specific landform development is controlled not only by geology, but also by past epeirogenic uplift, influencing river divides and drainage networks, and also a regionally diverse climate.
Finally, the association between people and landscapes is emphasized as an important theme covered throughout this book. South Africa boasts some of the most impressive sandstone landscapes and landforms in the world, and although these are widely distributed across South Africa, some of the most spectacular examples are associated with the Molteno, Elliot and Clarens Formations in the central region of South Africa.
The prominence of sandstone in this region is primarily owing to palaeo-basin infilling during the late Carboniferous and a climate dominated by seasonal precipitation patterns, both now and in the past. Consequently, a range of weathering and erosion processes have operated at wide-ranging spatial scales upon the sandstone outcrops.
The chapter describes prominent sandstone landscapes plateaus, mesa-butte topography, scarplands, slopes and landforms e. For instance, almost all known San rock art sites are associated with sandstone, yet rapid weathering of such rock is jeopardizing the longevity of this cultural legacy. This chapter describes how epeirogenic uplift of the escarpment, followed by headward erosion by rivers into different geological formations, has sculpted different landforms and largely controlled the development of features such as waterfalls, scarp faces, gorges and canyons.
Pothole formation in harder rocks has been a major factor in the development of gorges. The weathering characteristics of dolomite formations and nature and origin of dolomitic caves, their dripstone deposits and calcareous tufa deposits along the escarpment region are also described. The spectacular natural features of the region have made it a popular tourist destination.
The crater and its infill of broken and melted rocks have long since been stripped away by erosion, rendering the crater margins largely invisible today. However, a central region of rock that was domed upward during the impact event and that bears numerous scars of the catastrophe is still visible. The crescentic Vredefort Mountainland forms a portion of this geological feature, which is referred to as the Vredefort Dome.
Large potholes, sand-blasted rock pavements and the remnants of ancient dune fields testify to more recent shifts in climate in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The absence of significant placer deposits of gold, platinum and chromium is explained by this proposed model. The geologic history of the Great Escarpment, which includes within it the Drakensberg escarpment, closely follows cycles of tectonic evolution and land surface denudation from the Jurassic to Miocene that affected the entire southern African region.
Along the Drakensberg escarpment, which includes some of the highest mountain summits in southern Africa, the presence of flat-lying Jurassic basalts has strongly influenced processes and patterns of subsequent weathering, erosion and mass movement, in particular during cooler climate periods of the Quaternary. Distinctive weathering, periglacial and glacial, mass movement and fluvial phenomena have resulted from this interplay between geology, climate and geomorphological processes over the Quaternary and Holocene.
The Drakensberg escarpment region also shows a close interconnection between landscape geomorphology, biodiversity and patterns of human cultural occupation during the Holocene. For these reasons, conservation of geomorphological, ecological and cultural sites in the Drakensberg escarpment, and their sustainable management under conditions of climate change, is an important contemporary issue.
Typical erosional landforms found along this coast include cliffs, shore platforms and relict fossil clifflines, sea arches and stacks, and tafoni weathering forms. Depositional features include beachrock, aeolianite, coastal sand dunes, sandy beaches and barriers across tidal inlets. These erosional and depositional landforms are largely a product of climate and sea-level changes during the Quaternary and Holocene.
The aesthetically pleasing landscapes of the Wild Coast are a significant tourist attraction. The fluvial landscape of the arid Augrabies Falls region is characterised by a complex of channels, waterfalls and gorges eroded in granitoid bedrock.
A developmental model is outlined, which posits that waterfall retreat and concomitant gorge formation in the initially low-relief valley floor has initiated a wave of erosion that represents a renewed phase oflandscape denudation.
The faster retreat of the Main Falls is driving changes to upstream flow patterns. Over a long time scale, incision along anabranches that are tributary to the gorge will combine with gorge sidewall retreat, thereby leading to valley floor dissection.
The Richtersveld, in northwest South Africa, is located at the transition from the coastal plain to the elevated interior plateau and adjacent to the Orange River. Despite this positioning, the primary landscape features of the Richtersveld reflect the much more humid conditions of the Cretaceous period million years ago. Subsequent aridification of the southern African west coast during the Cenozoic resulted in lower landscape denudation rates that left the topography of the Richtersveld largely unaffected, except for periodic changes in climate when increased run-off incised the lower Orange River through the Great Escarpment and into the continental interior.
Sea-level fluctuations during the Cenozoic also contributed to river incision, as well as the development of river terraces and marine benches that host economically important diamond placers. Three landscape terrains can be defined along a west—east profile, inland from the coast. The western Richtersveld forms the coastal plain that was cut to near sea level across all lithologies, irrespective of composition and hardness, and is covered by alluvial debris derived from the escarpment and aeolian sands from the coast.
The central and eastern terrains form a linear corridor of high topographic relief and dissection that characterises the Great Escarpment. The great antiquity and long-term preservation of the Richtersveld landscape reflects its long geologic and climatic history and is today protected as a wilderness region. The geomorphology of the region is strongly controlled by these bedrock structures, which illustrates the close relationship between geologic and geomorphic patterns of landscape evolution over long timescales.
The interlinked geology, geomorphology and ecology are protected as part of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, which is a significant geotourism and geoheritage region, rich in archaeological remains. The geology in the vicinity of the city of Cape Town is exceptional for its spectacular scenery, distinctive geomorphology, the diversity of rock types and contacts on display, and its relation to the highly diverse natural fynbos vegetation. The most obvious geomorphological features are the dramatic cliff faces and steep slopes that expose the three main rock types of the area: metamorphic rocks of the Malmesbury Group, igneous rocks of the Cape Granite Suite including intrusions of dolerite dykes and sedimentary rocks of the Table Mountain Group.
Tectonism along with differences in weathering processes of different rock types has combined to give the distinctive flat-top of Table Mountain, the rounded, smooth slopes of the Tygerberg, Signal Hill and Paarl Rock, and the expansive Cape Flats in between. The major wine-producing region of South Africa is located in the south-western part of the country and widely known as the Cape Winelands.
Vineyards are located on soils developed under all three of these major geological substrates where slope conditions allow, as well as on the sand and gravel plains of the rivers that drain the region. The most striking geomorphological feature is the contrast between relatively gently rolling plateau country of the Swartland underlain by Malmesbury shales and Cape Granite, and the rugged topography of the Table Mountain Group sandstone-dominated Cape Fold Belt mountains to the east.
Combinations of climate, geology, slope and soil factors, coupled with the efforts of the winemakers, give rise to contrasting terroir s in the region which favours the production of different styles, character and quality of wine produced. The winelands represent a suite of cultural landscapes that justify significant conservation efforts both for their historical and natural resource value.
The Kruger National Park is an outstanding wildlife site and ecological resource where ecosystems and their functions are strongly influenced by underlying geology, geomorphology, soils, climate and water resources.
This chapter outlines the general geology and geomorphology of the Kruger area. Landscape evolution and landform development during the Cenozoic has also been strongly controlled by the varied geological formations present in Kruger.
The interrelationships between these factors and their role in ecosystem development and cultural landscape features are examined. Maputaland represents the southern limit of the east African coastal plain, flanked by the volcanic Lebombo mountain cuesta and the high-energy Indian Ocean. The terrain morphology of the region bears testimony to deep erosional incision and dramatic sea-level fluctuations since the early Cretaceous. The topography of the coastal plain is closely linked to the sequence of aeolian sand deposits that have been differentially weathered and eroded.
The late Neogene shoreline has been exploited by the Phongola River. Under the Tshongwe—Sihangwane sand megaridge and the wetland systems towards the east, the truncated dune landscape of the Kosi Bay Formation perches groundwater, providing groundwater seepage and seasonal run-off to the coastal lakes.
The extended parabolic dune systems of the KwaMbonambi Formation define the surface relief and confine interdune wetlands. The coastal lakes have evolved in response to Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations that have inundated river valleys up to 25 km inland and caused foredunes to be submerged several kilometres offshore on the shelf.
Accretion of the high coastal barrier dune cordon during the Holocene isolated some coastal lakes and forced morphological changes in others. Management of this area with international conservation status must draw from the dramatic influences that geomorphic processes have had on this region.
The combination of vegetated orange—red dunes, seasonal pans and dry valleys in the Kalahari creates a landscape with outstanding scientific and aesthetic value. This chapter describes the geomorphological features of the Kalahari Desert within South Africa and adjacent areas of Botswana and Namibia, with a special emphasis on aspects that make the landscape unique.
The Kalahari is an arid to semi-arid region underlain by Cretaceous to recent Kalahari Group sediments, including a surface blanket of unconsolidated Kalahari sands. The landscape is dominated by three sets of landforms: a dry valley systems, including the Auob, Nossob, Kuruman and Molopo rivers; b partially vegetated linear dunes, which stretch in a broad zone from Upington on the Orange River into Botswana and Namibia; and c seasonally flooded pans.
The importance of the long-term geological history of the Kalahari for understanding the present landscape is also discussed. The descriptor Western Free State Panfield covers the greatest concentration of pans in southern Africa.
Many Free State pans boast fringing lunette dunes on their southern and south-eastern margins. Lunettes derive their name from their sickle-moon shape, yet the environmental requirements which promote and sustain the formation of pan-lunette sequences are still not fully understood. In the western Free State, pans form almost exclusively on the shale substrate of the Ecca Group, suggesting a significant measure of geological control.
An apparent pattern of pan orientation exists in agreement with palaeodrainage lines. This supports the notion of bedrock influence on drainage, with drainage in turn playing a direct role in pan formation. Lithological rock type control on the formation of pans in the western Free State is, clearly, important. This chapter describes the morphology of pans and lunettes the two features should, arguably, not be separated and reviews the origins of their formation.
Finally, pans as a resource are examined, and their significance as a key element of the Free State landscape and a proxy for environmental change is assessed. The fossil-bearing cave deposits represent a more recent instalment of a history spanning 2.
The location and morphology of the caves is a result of lithological variation within the two host dolomite formations, multiple and complex phases of karstification and infilling of the resultant solution cavities over the two billion years since the dolomite deposition, and consistently active local tensional joint and fault systems.
Where vadose collapse has opened the caves to the landscape, a broad range of geomorphological processes has created dynamic sedimentary environments with complex stratigraphic histories. The Anglo-Boer War of — was a significant conflict in the recent history of South Africa, but the military geography of this conflict has not been subject to systematic analysis. This chapter explores the relationship between the strategies of military engagement during this conflict and the nature of the physical landscape in which these engagements took place.
An overview of the broad types of geomorphological and geological settings for some 43 major engagements of the conflict is followed by a detailed case study of the landscape contexts of engagements around Colenso former province of Natal. The relatively limited degree of post-conflict land use and geomorphological change in these parts of South Africa also renders many of these battlefield sites readily appreciated in the landscape and is reflected in an increasing interest in battlefield heritage tourism.
To date, however, there has been little work to develop this potential. This chapter describes examples of sites where geoheritage and geotourism activities have been developed in South Africa, and how other scenic South African landscapes can enhance their geoheritage and geotourism potential. Titel Landscapes and Landforms of South Africa.
Verlag Springer International Publishing. Print ISBN Electronic ISBN Herausgeber: Stefan Grab Jasper Knight.
Landscapes and Landforms of South Africa
South Africa occupies the southern tip of Africa , its coastline stretching more than 2, kilometres 1, miles from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic western coast southwards around the tip of Africa and then northeast to the border with Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. The low-lying coastal zone is narrow for much of that distance, soon giving way to a mountainous escarpment Great Escarpment that separates the coast from the high inland plateau. In some places, notably the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the east, a greater distance separates the coast from the escarpment. Although most of the country is classified as semi-arid , it has considerable variation in climate as well as topography. The South African central plateau contains only two major rivers: the Limpopo a stretch of which is shared with Zimbabwe , and the Orange with its tributary, the Vaal which runs with a variable flow across the central landscape from east to west, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at the Namibian border. The eastern and southern coastal regions are drained by numerous shorter rivers.
Pages i-xiii. PDF · Landscapes and Landforms of South Africa—An Overview R. Grant Cawthorn, Jasper Knight, Terence S. McCarthy. Pages PDF.
Landscapes and Landforms of South Africa
The vast expanse of the African continent spans several different climatic regions and contains everything from dry deserts to rainforests to snow-covered mountaintops. Check out some of the most-impressive physical features found in Africa. This spectacular Southern African waterfall, considered to be among the greatest in the world, is located along the Zambezi River and straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The awe-inspiring nature of the waterfall is in part due to its enormous width—more than 5, feet 1, meters.
The country has more than conservation parks. The annual sardine run is the biggest migration on the planet. Physical features range from bushveld, grasslands, forests, deserts and majestic mountain peaks, to wide unspoilt beaches and coastal wetlands.
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This book presents a beautifully illustrated overview of the most prominent landscapes of South Africa and the distinctive landforms associated with them. It describes the processes, origins and the environmental significance of those landscapes, including their relationships to human activity of the past and present. The sites described in this book include, amongst others, the Blyde River Canyon, Augrabies Falls, Kruger National Park, Kalahari desert landscapes, the Great Escarpment, Sterkfontein caves and karst system, Table Mountain, Cape winelands, coastal dunes, rocky coasts, Boer War battlefield sites, and Vredefort impact structure. This book will be relevant to those interested in the geology, physical geography and history of South Africa, climate change and landscape tourism.
It is divided in half almost equally by the Equator. Africas physical geography , environment and resources, and human geography can be considered separately. Some of these regions cover large bands of the continent, such as the Sahara and Sahel, while others are isolated areas, such as the Ethiopian Highlands and the Great Lakes. Each of these regions has unique animal and plant communities. Sahara The Sahara is the worlds largest hot desert , covering 8.
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