The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying
onboard the Aqua
satellite, captured this image on May 31, 2005, of an Algerian dust storm. The storm swept northward over the Mediterranean Sea toward the coast of Spain. A journey across the Mediterranean is a short trip for African dust, which often travels across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
Algeria provides the Mediterranean with a steady supply of dust and sand. More than 80 percent of Algeria is desert, including the enormous Issaouane Erg (sand sea) in the eastern part of the country. Large basins that may have held shallow seas or lakes, sand seas now hold active and fossilized sand dunes.