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Dust Plumes over the Middle East

Dust Plumes over the Middle East

On September 10, 2008, dust plumes blew over Iraq and neighboring countries. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day.

In this natural-color image, a wide swath of dust stretches from Saudi Arabia, through southeastern Iraq, and into western Iran. The sources of this plume are not obvious from the image, but dry lakebed sediments in the Tigris and Euphrates floodplain in Iraq and in the sand seas in Saudi Arabia might all have contributed to the airborne dust.

Smaller, thinner dust plumes also appear along the border between Syria and Turkey, and a thin veil of dust hangs over much of northern Iraq.

NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.