The Cederberg: A Rugged Sandstone Topography

  • Lynne J. QuickEmail author
  • Frank D. Eckardt
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


The Cederberg forms part of the western branch of the Cape Fold Belt , a mountain range that resulted from orogenic (mountain-building) processes in the Permo–Triassic (~300–230 Ma ago). After deposition, the Ordovician to Carboniferous sandstones and shales of the Cape Supergroup were subjected to faulting , folding and subsequent weathering which has produced a rugged mountainous terrain characterised by a sequence of elevated ridges and peaks (up to 2,027 m a.s.l.) separated by broad linear valleys. The geomorphology of the region is strongly controlled by these bedrock structures, which illustrates the close relationship between geologic and geomorphic patterns of landscape evolution over long timescales. The topography of the region has also exerted control on the Cederberg’s Mediterranean climate, with winter rains that support the Fynbos and Succulent Karoo biomes . The interlinked geology, geomorphology and ecology are protected as part of the Cederberg Wilderness Area , which is a significant geotourism and geoheritage region, rich in archaeological remains.


Fynbos Cape Fold Belt Table Mountain Group Sandstone weathering 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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