Dust Storm in the Taklimakan Desert

Dust Storm in the Taklimakan Desert

Dust storms continued in the Taklimakan Desert in western China through early April 2012. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on April 5. Dust was thickest along the desert’s southern margin.

Dust storms are common in the Taklimakan Desert—the largest, warmest, and driest desert in China. Marching sand dunes, some reaching a height of 200 meters, cover most of the desert floor. The dunes are virtually devoid of vegetation, but plants survive along the desert perimeter, and experience distinct seasonal variations.

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

References & Resources

  • World Wildlife Fund, McGinley, M. (2007) Taklimakan Desert. Encyclopedia of Earth. Accessed April 5, 2012.