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Albedo patterns and gypsum generation in the central Namib Desert - Land, sea and air interactions on an arid West CoastIn the central Namib Desert, dune-free surfaces are separated abruptly from a sea of yellow and red sand dunes at the Kuiseb River canyon. The off-white hues of the dune-free area result from anomalously high surficial gypsum enrichment. Satellite imagery indicates that the gypsum surfaces are associated with lower surface maximum temperatures than those of the darker dune surfaces to the south. One of various sources of sulfate for the gypsum bodies is oceanic H2S, supplied to desert land-surfaces by regular fog incursions. Since fog events are widespread along the coast, the question of anomalous gypsum accumulations north of the dune sea arises. Satellite imagery, in conjunction with more detailed handheld photography from the space shuttle, indicates that the penetration of fog inland is significantly greater over the gypsum surfaces than it is over the dunes. It is postulated that the thermal gradient between these surfaces generates a heat low centered over the northern part of dune sea and that this enhances fog and H2S advection on its north side onto the nearby dune-free zone. In such a system, gypsum/caliche surfaces reinforce advection of fog over themselves in a positive feedback mode.
Document ID
19930063985
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Wilkinson, M. J. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Helms, D. R. (Lockheed Engineering & Sciences Co. Houston, TX, United States)
Whitehead, V. S. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: In: IGARSS '92; Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Houston, TX, May 26-29, 1992. Vol. 2 (A93-47551 20-43)
Subject Category
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other

Related Records

IDRelationTitle19930063554Analytic PrimaryIGARSS '92; Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Houston, TX, May 26-29, 1992. Vols. 1 & 2