Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Meerkat Area - South Africa

Basic Information
Site Name
Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Meerkat Area
Short name
SKA-MA
Country
South Africa
Keywords
arid
terrestrial ecosystems
Site Description
SKA is situated in the Nama Karoo Biome approximately 80km North of Carnarvon. The SKA Meerkat site is a radio protected area situated in the Northern Cape province on which a part of the Square Kilometre Array has been built.
Last modified
2020-06-29 10:06:05
General Characteristics, Purpose, History
Site Status
Operational
Year Established
2001
Purpose
Baseline vegetation mapping in order to establish long-term monitoring plots on the current SKA core site and future SKA expansion area. Long-term vegetation changes are to be tracked over time since the conversion of land from farming with small stock to no livestock and only naturally occurring wildlife species.
History
An area of previous farm land was selected as the Karoo Radio Astronomy Reserve and SKA core region. The site was chosen on the basis of: Distance from RFI and EMI sources, but proximity to bulk infrastructure (roads and utility power grid) and small towns. Benign, dry climate and suitable physical characteristics. Flat-topped escarpment and hills providing natural RFI and EMI shilding. The core, spiral arms and most of the remote stations are at an elevation of 1000 m, or higher, thus reducing the atmspheric opacity. Low economic activity. (Our Journey Brochure - SKA)
Photos
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Geographic
Size
15000.00ha
Elevation (average)
1000.00msl
Elevation (min)
594.00msl
Elevation (max)
1404.00msl
Affiliation and Network Specific Information
Affiliation
SAEON (LTER-SAF-ZA-18)The affiliation of this site with "SAEON" is not verified.
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