Hydrological, Geomorphological and Geochemical Processes in the Okavango Delta: Water Resource Management Implications

W.R.L. Masamba, P. Huntsman-Mapila, S. Ringrose, and P. Wolski (Botswana)


Okavango Delta, Hydrology, Geomorphology, Geochemistry, Water Resource Management


The Okavango Delta is an alluvial fan that has been built up by sedimentation into a graben structure connected to the East African Rift Valley. It is supplied with water from the Okavango River, the catchment of which is situated in highlands of Central Angola. The Delta wetland contrasts sharply from its surroundings where rainfall is low, evaporation rates are high and surface water is lacking for most of the year. The river channels are mainly oligotrophic habitats, yet the Okavango Delta is full of plant and animal life. Evapotranspiration leads to concentration of salts under islands, leaving the surface water fresh. This paper discusses the hydrological, geochemical and geomorphological processes of the Okavango Delta in relation to water resource management.

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