Tan-colored desert dust from the Bodele Depression blew westward over the Lake Chad on April 22, 2004, as the newest in an intermittent series of dust storms from the region was born. Strong, hot winds often blow from out of the Sahara Desert to the north, easily scooping up and carrying the fine silt and dust grains that were once under water. Now only a small fraction of its former size, Lake Chad is receding and, as it does, its lake bed is increasingly exposed to the region’s desiccating heat. Thus, the Bodele is the source of many recent dust storms originating out of north central Africa.
This true-color image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard NASA’s Terra satellite. The high-resolution image available here is 250 meters per pixel.