Magazine article Geographical

Why Is It That the Water from the Okavango Delta Doesn't Flow into the Sea?

Magazine article Geographical

Why Is It That the Water from the Okavango Delta Doesn't Flow into the Sea?

Article excerpt

ANSWER: From the air, the Okavango Delta is an odd sight. It looks just like a normal river delta, but it's hundreds of kilometres inland, and the water just seems to disappear at the end of the river branches.

The water doesn't flow into the sea because it never gets the chance. Sitting in the Kalahari Desert, the water from the Okavango Delta has few places to go but into thin air; indeed, more than 98 per cent of it simply evaporates. The source of the delta is the Okavango River, which rises in the mountains of Angola to the northwest and flows down onto the plains of Botswana. Were it not dammed by land rising to the east, the river might link up with the Linyanti and Zambezi rivers. But it is forced into the Kalahari by a pair of fault lines, extensions of those that lie under the Great Rift Valley in East Africa.

The first fault causes the river to run into a narrow and shallow rift valley in the northwestern Kalahari. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.