veld(redirected from veldts)
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the name for the arid plateaus, covered with xerophytic grasses and shrubs, west of the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa.
The veld is formed by a series of steps that descend to the Kalahari trough and the valley of the Limpopo River. The highveld, between the Orange and the Vaal rivers, descends from a height of 2,000 m in the northeast to 1,200 m in the southwest and is composed of horizontal deposits of sandstone and shale of the Karroo system. The surface is covered with a dense, grassy cover approximately 1 m high. In the Witwatersrand Range, north of the highveld, are the most important gold and uranium deposits in the Republic of South Africa. Between the Vaal River and the upper reaches of the Olifants River is the middleveld (altitudes of 1,500-1,000 m), which is similar to the highveld in geological sructure. It is covered in the west with xerophytic shrubs, and in the east with grasses. In the Kimberley region there are diamond beds, and diamonds are mined. North of the city of Pretoria lies the bushveld (altitudes of approximately 900 m), which is composed of volcanic rocks and covered with thickets of thorny shrubs (species of acacia). The lowveld (altitudes of 800-300 m) extends from the bushveld to the Limpopo River; it is a leveled surface of Precambrian crystalline base. The veld is a savanna with baobabs and mopani trees.