Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to better experience this site.

Dust Plume off the Coast of Northern Africa

Dust Plume off the Coast of Northern Africa

Dust blew off the African coast and over the Mediterranean Sea on June 9, 2007. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image the same day. In this image, the opaque tan dust plume billows off the coast, along the Libya-Egypt border, in a shape vaguely resembling a giant inverted teardrop.

Directly north of the dust plume lies the island of Kriti (Crete). North of that, much smaller islands dot the Aegean Sea. Pale streamers sweep southward from these islands, from a cause that appears unrelated to the dust plume. The streamers may be “wind shadows” on the ocean surface highlighted by sunglint that results from the Sun’s light bouncing off the water’s surface and into the satellite sensor.

You can download a 250-meter-resolution KMZ file of the dust storm for use with Google Earth.

NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.