The Verbrandeberg and Organ Pipes
  • Kaokoland & Damara Land

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  • Longitude: 14.417224
  • Latitude: -20.616975
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The Verbrandeberg and Organ Pipes

The barren mountain "Verbrandeberg", meaning “Burnt Mountain”, was proclaimed a national monument in 1956. The unique display of colours on its slopes and surfaces during morning and evening hours was a highlight in an otherwise arid landscape around Twyfelfontein.

The Burnt Mountain, a sheet of dolerite, an igneous rock associated with volcanic activity that occurred in the area some 120 million years ago (probably associated with the Cretaceous Etendeka volcanism), intruded black carbonaceous shale of the Permian Prince Albert Formation of the Karoo sequence. The high temperature of the dolerite (about 1,0000C) baked the shale. (Vogt, 2004)

During the contact metamorphism that was caused by the intrusion, volatile organic components were driven off from the shale, leaving a charred black, clinker like burnt mass from which the mountain got its name.

The Organ Pipes

The "Organ Pipes" is a rock formation that comprises a group of columnar basalts resembling organ pipes.

The Organ Pipes were formed about 150 million years ago as the result of the intrusion of liquid lava into a slate rock formation, which was exposed over time by erosion.

The Verbrandeberg and Organ Pipes are situated 70km to the west of Khorixas near Twyfelfontein.

Sources

Vogt, A. 2004. National Monuments in Namibia. 2nd ed. Macmillan, Windhoek.

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