Dust plumes blew off the coast of Libya and over the Mediterranean Sea in mid-May 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on May 13, 2010. Thick dust blows northward off the African coast, past the island of Kriti (Crete), and toward Peloponnisos (Peloponnese). In places, the dust is thick enough to completely hide the land or sea surface below.
Source points for the dust storm are not obvious in this image, and the dust may have arisen far inland. More than 90 percent of Libya’s land surface is desert or semi-desert, and sand seas sprawl over much of the country’s arid interior.