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Namib

Namib nä´mĭb [key], desert, c.800 mi (1,290 km) long and from 30 to 100 mi (50–160 km) wide, SW Africa, along the coast of Namibia. It occupies a rocky platform between the Atlantic Ocean and the escarpment of the interior plateau. Isolated mountains rise from the desert and sand dunes cover its southern portion. It receives less than  1⁄2 in. (1.3 cm) of rain annually and is barren of vegetation. Tungsten, salt, and alluvial diamonds are mined. The coast north of Swakopmund is known as Skeleton Coast for its whalebones and shipwrecks.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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