Dead Vlei

Dead Vlei

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Credit: STEVE ALLEN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dead Vlei is a clay pan located near Sossusvlei, in the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia, Africa. It is surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world. The clay pan was formed after rainfall, when the Tsauchab river flooded, creating temporary shallow pools where the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. When the climate changed, drought hit and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river from the area. The trees died, as there no longer was enough water to survive. The remaining skeletons of the trees, which are believed to be about 900 years old, are now black because the intense sun has scorched them. The wood does not decompose because it is so dry.

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Keywords: africa, biological, biology, blue sky, botanical, botany, branches, camel thorn, clay pan, climate, cracked, dead, dead vlei, deserts, drought, dry, dunes, environment, environmental, flora, geographical, geography, landscape, namib naukluft, namib-naukluft, namibia, nature, plant, roots, sand, sand dune, sandy, scorched, sossusvlei, trees

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