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Gumbricht, T., McCarthy, J. and McCarthy, T.S. 2004. Channels, wetlands and islands in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and their relation to hydrological and sedimentological processes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 29(1): 15–29


Description:

Channels, wetlands and islands in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and their relation to hydrological and sedimentological processes.

Summary / Notes:

The Okavango wetland in northern Botswana is one of the world's largest inland deltas. The delta is a dynamic environment with shifting channel routes, causing growth and decay of flanking wetlands, and giving birth to islands. Primary island nuclei are formed by fluvial processes and bioengineering, and subsequently grow into secondary larger islands of irregular shape by clastic and chemical sedimentation, and later by coalescence. This article presents classifications and quantitative estimations of channels, wetlands and islands of the Okavango Delta. Islands were classified dependent on composition, pattern of composition, shape and juxtaposition. 90 per cent of all islands in the entire wetland were identified, with a classification accuracy of 60 to 85 per cent. Smaller islands of the nucleus types dominate the upper parts of the delta, whereas larger secondary islands are more common in the distal part, a reflection of the age of the islands. Islands in the entry valley of the delta, the Panhandle, are larger in the top end – the primary region of recent clastic sedimentation. The overall size distribution of islands in the delta, however, shows no clumps, indicating that island growth is a uniform process over time and space. The total area flooded at least every decade is approximately 14 000 km2, of which 9000 km2 is classified as actual wetland. Channel meandering decreases from the Panhandle to the distal part of the delta, with the abandoned Thaoge channel as an exception. Occurrence of fluvially formed islands in the distal delta indicates that the water flow and area of inundation must once have been much larger. Keywords: Okavango Delta, channel meandering, wetland, island classification.

Year: 2004

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/esp.1008/abstract


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Tooth, S. and McCarthy, T.S. 2004. Controls on the transition from meandering to straight channels in the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 29(13): 1627–1649
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2010 Report1.35 mb pdf
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McCarthy, T.S. 2006. Groundwater in the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and its contribution to the structure and function of the ecosystem. Journal of Hydrology, 320(3–4): 264–282
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Murray-Hudson, M., Wolski, P. and Ringrose, S. 2006. Scenarios of the impact of local and upstream changes in climate and water use on hydro-ecology in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Hydrology. 331(1–2): 73–84
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Burg, V. 2007. Climate change affecting the Okavango Delta. Diploma Thesis, July 2007. This diploma thesis was written at the Institute of Environmental Engineering (IfU), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich)
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Wolski, P., Savenije, H.H.G., Murray-Hudson, M. and Gumbricht, T. 2006. Modelling of the flooding in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, using a hybrid reservoir-GIS model. Journal of Hydrology, 331(1–2): 58–72
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Ramberg, L., Lindholm, M., O. Hessen, D., Murray-Hudson, M., Bonyongo, C., Heinl, M., Masamba, W., VanderPost, C. and Wolski, P. 2010. Aquatic ecosystem responses to fire and flood size in the Okavango Delta: observations from the seasonal floodplains. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 18(5): 587-595
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Mackay, A.W., Davidson, T., Wolski, P., Woodward, S., Mazebedi, R., Masamba, W.R.L. and Todd, M. 2012. Diatom sensitivity to hydrological and nutrient variability in a subtropical, flood-pulse wetland. Ecohydrology, 5(4): 491–502
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The Okavango Research Group. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
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Wolski, P. and Murray-Hudson, M. 2005. Flooding dynamics in a large low-gradient alluvial fan, the Okavango Delta, Botswana, from analysis and interpretation of a 30-year hydrometric record. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 2: 1865–1892
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Krah, M., McCarthy, T.S., Huntsman-Mapila, P., Wolski, P., Annegarn, H. and Sethebe, K. 2006. Nutrient Budget in the Seasonal Wetland of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 14(3): 253-267
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Wolski, P. and Savenije, H.H.G. 2006. Dynamics of floodplain-island groundwater flow in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Hydrology, 320(3–4): 283–301
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Milzow, C., Kgotlhang, L., Kinzelbach, W., Meier, P. and Bauer-Gottwein, P. 2009. The role of remote sensing in hydrological modelling of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Environmental Management, 90(7): 2252–2260
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Schmidt, L., Domptail, S., Klintenberg, P., Gruber, M., Schmiedel, U., Zimmermann, I. and Falk, T. 2013. Transdisciplinary research and stake-holder involvement. A review of the TFO approach. In: Oldeland, J., Erb, C., Finckh, M. and Jürgens, N. 2013. (Eds.): Environmental Assessments in the Okavango Region. Biodiversity and Ecology, 5: 195–212
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2013 Book, Book Section, Booklet4.75 mb pdf
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Moleele, N.M. 2008. Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation Objectives in the Management of Wetland Resources in the Okavango Delta: Lessons and Experiences. Presented at the International Wetlands Conference, Maun Lodge, 31st January - 1st February, 2008
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Gumbricht, T., Wolski, P., Frost, P. and McCarthy, T.S. 2004. Forecasting the spatial extent of the annual flood in the Okavango delta, Botswana. Journal of Hydrology, 290(3–4): 178–191
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Mosepele, K., Moyle, P.B., Merron, G.S., Purkey, D.R. and Mosepele, B. 2009. Fish, Floods, and Ecosystem Engineers: Aquatic Conservation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. BioScience, 59(1): 53-64
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McCarthy, T.S. 1993. The great inland deltas of Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences (and the Middle East), 17(3): 275–291
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Gumbricht, T. and McCarthy, T.S. 2003. Spatial patterns of islands and salt crusts in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. South African Geographical Journal, 85(2): 164-169
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Krah, M., McCarthy, T.S., Annegarn, H. and Ramberg, L. 2004. Airborne dust deposition in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and its impact on landforms. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 29(5): 565–577
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Gumbricht, T., McCarthy, T.S. and Bauer, P. 2005. The micro-topography of the wetlands of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 30: 27-39
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Haddon, I.G. and McCarthy, T.S. 2005. The Mesozoic-Cenozoic interior sag basins of Central Africa: The Late-Cretaceous-Cenozoic Kalahari and Okavango basins. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 43(1–3): 316–333
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Bonyongo, M.C. and Mubyana, T. 2004. Soil nutrients status in vegetation communities of the Okavango Delta floodplains. South African Journal of Science, 100: 337-340
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McCarthy, T.S. 2013. The Okavango Delta and its place in the geomorphological evolution of southern Africa. South African Journal of Geology, 116(1): 1-54
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McCarthy, T.S. and Ellery, W.N. 1998. The Okavango Delta. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa, 53(2): 157-182
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