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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS025-E-5538 Date: Sep. 2010
Geographic Region: ZIMBABWE

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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Great Dyke of Zimbabwe, Africa

The Great Dyke of Zimbabwe is a layered mafic intrusion of igneous, metal-bearing rock that has been dated to approximately 2.5 billion years old. The dyke (or dike in American English) intrudes through the even older rocks of African craton, the core of oldest rocks forming the continent of Africa. In cross section, the Great Dyke looks somewhat triangular or keel-shaped, suggesting to geologists that it rose along deep faults associated with extension of the African crust.

This geological feature extends more than 550 kilometers (342 miles) northeast to southwest across the center of Zimbabwe, varying from 3 to 12 kilometers (2-8 miles) in width. The southern end of the dyke is captured in this astronaut photograph.

Layered mafic intrusions are usually associated with economically important metals such as chromium, nickel, copper, platinum, titanium, iron, vanadium, and tin. Chromium, in the form of the mineral chromite, and platinum are particularly abundant in the Great Dyke and actively mined. Younger faults have offset sections of the Dyke along its length; two of the most obvious faults in the image are indicated, with arrows showing the relative directions of offset.

While the Great Dyke and its metal ores are products of geologic processes from the deep past, more recent events have also left their mark on the landscape. Two large burn scars from fires are visible at image top center.

An older, more detailed view of the Great Dyke can be found in an astronaut photograph available here.

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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 263k
Mission: ISS025  
Roll - Frame: E - 5538
Geographical Name: ZIMBABWE  
Center Lat x Lon: 20.5S x 29.8E
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 10
Camera: N2
Camera Tilt: 44   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 180  
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: S   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 4  
Date: 20100930   YYYYMMDD
Time: 135003   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 17.5S  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 29.0E  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 277   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 195   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 30   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views:  
Atmosphere Views:  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences

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