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Dust Plumes over Iraq

Dust Plumes over Iraq

Dual dust plumes blew southeastward through Iraq on June 19, 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day.

Two parallel plumes arise in southeastern Iraq and blow toward the Persian Gulf. The western plume, which blows over the border with Kuwait, has the beige color characteristic of dry lake- or riverbed sediments. The eastern plume is much darker. Some impermanent lakes lie between Qal’at Salih and Suq ash Shuyukh, and some of the sediments in this plume might have arisen in those basins.

This scene includes wetlands, which have received alternating levels of moisture over the past decade.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.