A sand sea or erg is defined as an expanse of land covered with 125 square km. The Namib Sand Sea is the second largest in the world. It covers nearly 80 thousand square kilometers (nearly the size of Austria or South Carolina). From the mountains to the dunes to the ocean, it is home of some of the most inhospitable terrane I have ever encountered.
|Google Earth view of the Namib. The Orange river is in the lower left corner and the Kuiseb is the in the upper right.
The Namib begins north of the Orange River, which drains over half of the Republic of South Africa. Sand that is carried into the lower portions of the river is blown northward by the southeasterly trade winds.
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