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An explanatory model of the long term, large scale drainage evolution of the Molopo drainage southern Kalahari

An explanatory model of the long term, large scale drainage evolution of the Molopo drainage southern Kalahari

New Zealand Geographical Society Conference Series 19: 493-497

This paper discusses the initial results of an investigative type of study into the reconstruction of the development of the Molopo drainage during the Cainozoic, and emphasizes the long-term and large-scale aspects of the development of this drainage. The shape of the Kalahari Group sediment body within the drainage basin forms the basis of an explanatory model which is used in conjunction with remnant surficial alluvial sediments at the easterly edge of the drainage area to attempt a tentative reconstruction of certain phases in the evolution of the Molopo drainage. These phases should be seen as time frames in a more continuous development model. It appears that this drainage can be traced back over a considerable period of time and that the evolution of the drainage pattern has been influenced by tectonics associated with large-scale intra-continental structures (e.g. Kalahari Basin and Griqualand-Transvaal axis of uplift) as well as climatic changes. An attempt is made to separate the effects of tectonics and climatic changes.

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