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Dust Storm near Lake Chad
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated.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.
Dust from the Bodele depression in Chad, Africa (image right), is blowing across the Lake Chad region in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image taken by the Terra satellite on November 10, 2003. As recently as the 1960s, Lake Chad filled an area in the depression roughly the size of Lake Erie in North America, but lack of rain and increased demand for irrigation water have shrunk the shorelines of the lake, leaving much of the Bodele depression dry.
Now dust storms in the Bodele depression are common. The low-lying area is a major source of windblown dust in Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Hemisphere. Seen as streaks of white against the orange desert sands in this true-color image, the dust partially obscures the northern shores of Lake Chad (lower left) from view.