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Photographer's Note

The "7 colored earth" dunes, which can reach up to 15 m thick, contain traces of ancient activity of geoclimatic events. The basalt from the intermediate period lava flow (3-1.7 million years ago) has been leached by the hot and humid climate of Mauritius, leading to gullied clay. This decomposition has left iron and aluminum oxides which repel each other and gather spontaneously in colorful stripes. The ferric oxide gives the land shades of red to brown, whereas the aluminum oxide gives shades from blue to violet. The leaching has depleted the soil of nutrients that are necessary for vegetation to grow. This is why no plants will ever grow on the dunes.

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Additional Photos by michael shalter (retlash) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 68 W: 3 N: 142] (791)
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