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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Disappearing Rivers of Namibia

Disappearing Rivers of Namibia

Ephemeral Rivers of Namibia flow for very short periods following heavy rainfall.

Article Topics
Namibia Ephemeral Rivers

Ekuma River

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Disappearing Ephemeral Rivers of Namibia

Within the drier areas of Namibia in Africa, the majority of rivers are ephemeral, with some experiencing flow very rarely and others experiencing flow more frequently, but still intermittently. Ephemeral  means lasting for a very short time.

The majority of flow events occurs in direct response to major rainfall events and is frequently of short duration. The majority of the streamflow will be derived from runoff generated on the catchment surface with only a small contribution derived from drainage out of saturated soils and rocks. The latter may form a larger component of the total flow in a single event after prolonged rainfall events, when subsurface storage is more effectively recharged.

In some areas of the country, ephemeral rivers may experience extended periods of still water pondage within their channels. This would mainly be caused by very slow groundwater seepage that is sufficient to maintain a pool, but not sufficient to overcome evaporation losses and generate channel flow. Evaporation will cause progressive concentration of salts.

Seven Ephemeral rivers of Namibia

Carrying water in Namibia
Carrying water in Namibia
Ekuma River - Ekuma River is one of the three rivers that supply a majority of water to the pan in the Etosha National Park in Namibia. The other two rivers being Oshigambo River and Omurambo Ovambo River. Ekumo is an ephemeral river that occasionally flows, or forms pools, during the rainy season. It originates from the southern shores of Lake Oponono and is 160 miles long.

Fish River - The flow of the river is seasonal; in winter, the river can dry up completely.

Hoanib River - The Hoanib flows only every few years from heavy rainfall in the hinterland of the catchment area, but then the flood wave can be several meters high and last for several days.

Khan River - The Khan River cross the Erongo region of central Namibia. It is the main tributary of the Swakop River and only occasionally carries surface water during the rain seasons in November and an ephemeral river crossing the Erongo region of central Namibia. It is the main tributary of the Swakop River and only occasionally carries surface water during the rain seasons in November and March.

Kuiseb River – The Kuiseb River rises in the mountains to the west of Windhoek, Namib and flows for 300 miles in a semicircle into the cool coastal Namib Desert, where it normally dies out; in rare flood years, it may reach the seas of the Atlantic Ocean south of Walvis Bay.

Oshigambo River - The Oshigambo River is an ephemeral river in central northern Namibia, flowing into Etosha Pan. It almost never carries surface water.

Ugab River - The Ugab River is an ephemeral river that only flows above the surface of its sandy bed a few days each year.

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