Multiple dust plumes blew off the coast of Libya and over the Mediterranean Sea in early February 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of the dust storm on February 7. The dust plumes formed roughly parallel lines moving toward the northeast.
Away from the coast, where a Mediterranean climate predominates, Libya consists of dry desert. Only about 1 percent of the land is arable, and vast sand seas provide plentiful material for dust storms.
With so little water available for crops, Libya taps aquifers for irrigation. The green dots visible southeast of Banghazi (Benghazi) in this image correspond with part of a massive water project.