A dust plume blew off the coast of Argentina on January 23, 2009, as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead. In this image, the dust blows toward the southeast, past Golfo San Matías and over the Atlantic Ocean.
The source points for this dust storm are not obvious in the image, but this part of Argentina—considered part of Patagonia—consists largely of windswept, arid landscapes. Isolated dry salt lakes also occur between the city of Bahía Blanca and Golfo San Matías, and those sediments may contribute to the airborne dust.
The plume of dust that swept over the South Pacific Ocean from Australia on October 13, 2009, was delicate, almost ghostly, compared to the large, dense plume of dust that darkened much of the east Australian coast on September 23.