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Dust over Southwestern Asia and the Arabian Sea

Dust over Southwestern Asia and the Arabian Sea

Dust storms spread over southwestern Asia on June 1, 2011. As the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite passed overhead, dust-storm activity extended from the Iran-Afghanistan border across Pakistan and into India. Dust also blew over the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

Dust plumes often arise from the dry lakebed sediments along the border between Iran and Afghanistan. Thick plumes blow from that region toward the southeast in this natural-color image. Dust also arises from the sand seas occurring over much of western Pakistan, and the sandy desert that stretches for hundreds of kilometers along the Pakistan-India border.

Although thinner than the plumes to the north and east, dust also occurs over Oman. Sandy deserts in Oman could be the source of the dust in that region, but the dust might have arisen in and around Pakistan, and been carried across the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman.

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