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Dust Plumes off Morocco

Dust Plumes off Morocco

Parallel dust plumes blew off the coast of Morocco in late December 2010. Blowing toward the north-northwest, the plumes just missed Lanzarote, the easternmost of the Canary Islands.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on December 29, 2010. Camel-colored dust plumes form long, delicate arcs over the Atlantic Ocean. A long, skinny cloud bank runs almost perpendicular to the dust plumes. Parallel to the clouds is a faint, indistinct swath that could be a plume from an earlier dust storm.

Morocco does not have many of the vast sand seas that characterize much of the Sahara Desert. Sediments near the Moroccan shoreline probably gave rise to the dust plumes in this image.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.