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(both: kəro͞o`, kä–), the semiarid plateaus of South Africa. The Little Karroo, in Western Cape, is located N of the Langeberg and Outeniqua Ranges and extends c.200 mi (320 km) from east to west at an altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 ft (305–610 m). It is separated from the Great Karroo, in Western Cape and Eastern Cape (c.300 mi/480 km long; alt. 2,000–3,000 ft/610–915 m), by the Swartberg Mts. The Northern Karroo, in Northern Cape, North West and Free State, forms (with the highveld, see veldveld
or veldt
[Du.,=field], term applied to the grassy undulating plateaus of the Republic of South Africa and of Zimbabwe. The veld comprises territory of varying elevation—the highveld (4,000–6,000 ft/1,220–1,830 m), the middleveld
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) the innermost and highest of South Africa's plateau regions. It extends north from the Great Karroo, bounded by Namaqualand on the west and the Komsberg and Roggeveld escarpments on the southwest, and merges with the highveld of Free State and Transvaal provinces. Up to 4,000 ft (1,219 m) high in Northern Cape province, it rises to c.6,000 ft (1,829 m) in the highveld of Transvaal. It forms the lower western half of the central escarpment. The Karroo, where irrigated, is very fertile. Livestock grazing is important there, and citrus fruits and grains are raised. The name is also applied to the low scrub vegetation found in semiarid regions and also to a system of rocks laid down over central and southern Africa during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Hottentot karusa, “dry” or “sterile”), the general name for the semidesert plateaus and intermontane depressions in South Africa; they lie to the south of the Orange River and have a subtropical climate.

The Upper Karroo is a plateau 1,000–1, 300 m high between the Orange River in the north and the Great Escarpment in the south. It is composed of horizontal sandstones and shales (the continental formation of the karroo dates to the Upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic ages) broken by numerous dolerite intrusions. Precipitation (250–400 mm per year) falls irregularly, usually in torrents. The karroo is broken by the wadi beds of the tributaries of the Orange River, which after the rains become flooded. Sparse brush vegetation has survived, as well as solitary trees, chiefly in the valleys and saucer-like depressions.

The Great Karroo is an erosion depression between the Great Escarpment and the Kaap (Cape) Mountains; it extends 400 km from west to east, with an average width of 130 km and average elevations of 450–750 m. It is composed of sandstones of the Karroo suite. The climate is semidesert and desert, with 125–400 mm of precipitation a year. The vegetation cover is sparse, particularly in the west.

The Little Karroo is a very wide (about 64 km) longitudinal depression in the Kaap Mountains, between the Zwartberg Range in the north and the Lange Bergen in the south; it stretches 320 km from west to east. Precipitation is 250 mm a year, supporting sparse brush and grasses.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A dry, broad, level, elevated area found especially in southern Africa, often rising to considerable elevations in terrace formations; does not support vegetation in the dry season but supports grass during the wet season. Also spelled karoo.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


, Karroo
1. any of several high arid plateaus in South Africa, esp the Central Karoo and the Little Karoo. The highveld, north of the Central Karoo, is sometimes called the Northern Karoo
2. a period or rock system in Southern Africa equivalent to the period or system extending from the Upper Carboniferous to the Lower Jurassic: divided into Lower and Upper Karoo
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
It was night time, as cold and dark as only a Karroo night can be.
And at her feet Jamie gathering smooth white stones, muttering to himself and the little waves washing at the shore, coming in at an angle, waves on which black and white birds bob in the sun, and the honey-combed pattern of light trembling under the water and in the pleasure of it, the pleasure of all that shimmering water in which her children play like fish knowing their way through the waves, she a woman of the Karroo who is afraid of water, listens to the lapping and the sloshing and the lovely cries of children and sees the blue folds of the Buffelstalberg cool in the distance and so her eyelids droop, droop as the water laps.
Fugard acknowledges that his life has been "sustained by women," the first of whom was his mother, "an Afrikaner, who I don't think passed Standard Four in the little Karroo village where she grew up, could barely sign her name.
It came as no surprise to her when I suddenly said I was going to renovate our holiday house in the Karroo, make it into a house in which one could live.
It was exclusively for whites in those days, but with a few matinees set aside for other races....Years later, I was driving through Karroo and I saw this sad little amusement park, encamped on the outskirts of a little town.
(4.) Gail Kessler Kmetz, "Olive Schreiner- Woman of the Karroo," Ms.
Acacia karroo is an important leguminous tree in communal rangelands of southern Africa and is able to thrive in severe and dry conditions.
Material examined: SOUTH AFRICA: Free State: 3[male] 1[female] Amanzi Private Game Reserve, 28[degrees]35.558'S 26[degrees]26.032'E, 1427 m, grassland, canopy fogging Acacia karroo, 25.xii.2010, V.
karroo leaves, improves the body condition score, slaughter weight (Mapiye et al., 2009) and average daily gain (Nyamukanza and Scogings, 2008).
The scatter of data was higher than that observed for Acacia karroo in the African savanna, shrubland and forest, where Archibald and Bond (2003) found all [r.sup.2] between the height and diameter to be above 0.90.