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Dust Storm over Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
A dust storm stirred in the Hamun wetlands along the Iran-Afghanistan border on June 3, 2012. By the following day, the dust plumes had grown, spreading far south into Pakistan. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image on June 4.
When moisture is scarce, areas like the Hamun wetlands transform to dry lakebeds, and the fine sediments provide material for dust storms. Multiple dry lakebeds occur along the borders between Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, in addition to the Hamun wetland area. High temperatures can also contribute to dust storms by making air near the ground unstable. In such conditions, even light winds can loft dust into the air.