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Dust plumes blew over parts of Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas in early February 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on February 9. This image shows the dust storm on the morning of February 9; MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite observed the same region on the afternoon of the same day.
Dust plumes arose from multiple source points—which look like pinpoints of beige that fan out toward the northeast—in Mexico. A substantial plume also arose from New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument. This national monument is a giant gypsum dune field covering some 275 square miles (710 square kilometers), and as its name implies, its gypsum sands are pearly white. Dust plumes from White Sands National Monument reflect the pale hues of their source sediments.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michon Scott.