Okavango Delta. Floods of Life, by John Mendelsohn
John Mendelsohn's study 'Okavango Delta: Floods of Life' provides information and ideas to improve that debate in the hope that this wetland remains one of planet earth’s great assets.
Introduction of the Okavango Delta
The Delta of the Okavango River means different things to different people: a wonderland to some, a wetland or wildlife paradise to others, and for many it provides for wealth and welfare. Few natural places in the world offer so many goods, assets and services in combination with such aesthetic appeal. And all of this happens in an incongruous setting lying in the centre of a flat, semi-arid landscape of sand that stretches almost three thousand kilometres from north to south, and over one thousand kilometres from west to east. Much of it is called the Kalahari Desert, and for its setting the Delta has been aptly named the jewel of the Kalahari, which is the title of another book that portrays the beauty and intricacy of the Delta. Several other books, and many magazine articles and documentary films have been devoted to its magic, their pages and footage filled with striking images of spectacular animals, plants and scenes. These images on film and paper have carried the fame of this natural asset out into the world. Each year, the Delta attracts tens of thousands of tourists from many countries on several continents. Compared to other freshwater environments, the Delta is thus well known as a spectacle rich in wildlife, especially in the minds of devotees to wild places and nature. But much less is generally known about the origins of the Delta, its functioning, the major processes that give it bountiful life, what threats it may face in the years ahead, and what can be done to meet challenges that may compromise its future. And limited information about its workings is available to people who may influence that future, for example those who determine how water in the Delta's catchment is used or abused. Okavango Delta: Floods of Life is a celebration of the Delta's living wealth, but it specifically aims to do three things. The first is to explore how the Delta functions. Much of our search is synthesised from the findings of hundreds of scientists who have given years of study to the Delta. The book describes the catchment areas in Angola and the passage of the Okavango River through Namibia.This is where the quality, volume and timing of water flow entering the Delta is determined. Once water reaches the Delta, various processes govern the distribution of flows across the alluvial fan. Some processes are physical, dependant on slope, sedimentation, faults and channels fixed long ago in the sands of the Kalahari. Yet others are driven by biological agents, principally by such divergent organisms as papyrus, termites and hippos. The effects of all these processes also change, and so the spread of water varies from one season to the next; and across longer scales of time that range from tens to thousands of years. In short, the flow of water is extremely variable and unpredictable. (...)
This is an excerpt from the book: Okavango Delta. Floods of Life, by John Mendelsohn.
Title: Okavango Delta. Floods of Life
Author: John Mendelsohn
Publisher: Research and Information Services of Namibia (RAISON)
Windhoek, Namibia 2010
ISBN 9789991678054 / ISBN 978-99916-780-5-4
Softcover, 21x28 cm, 145 pages, throughout photos, maps and images
Mendelsohn, John im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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