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Bodele Depression Dust Storm, Lake Chad Fires
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
On March 5, 2007, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured two events in northern Africa: a dust storm from the mountain-rimmed Bodele Depression, and fires around the fringes of Lake Chad. This image shows the typical pale beige dual dust plumes blowing out of the valley, as well as hotspots around the lake.
Despite the irritation the dust may cause near its origin, it plays an important role in sustaining life in the Amazon. Most of the mineral dust fertilizing Amazonian soil originates in the Bodele Depression.
Lake Chad has been steadily shrinking for decades, the latest fires simply providing more evidence of how dry the area has become. MODIS detects fires like these by finding areas of anomalously warm surface temperatures.