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Dust over the Red Sea

Dust over the Red Sea

Another dust storm blew off the coast of Africa and over the Red Sea on September 15, 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day.

Dust plumes travel in a generally clockwise direction across the water, thinning out toward the east. Although the dust extends most of the way across the Red Sea, it does not quite reach the coast of Saudi Arabia.

Source points for the dust plumes do not appear in this image, but the dust storm likely arose in Sudan. The country does not hold massive sand seas common in other north African countries, but a network of impermanent rivers and lakes occurs near the coast, and these fine sediments provide material for dust storms.

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