Dust storm over the Arabian Sea

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The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured dust plumes blowing over the Arabian Sea on November 18. Multiple plumes blew off the coast of Iran and Pakistan toward the southwest. The thickest plume blew away from the coast just west of the Iran-Pakistan border. The second thickest plume, also the easternmost, is located near Khor Kalmat, a lagoon along the Makran coast of Balochistan, Pakistan.

Satellite image of dust over Arabian Sea captured by MODIS/Aqua  satellite on November 18, 2012 (NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott)

Source points for the dust plumes are not obvious in this image, but southeastern Iran and southwestern Pakistan are both home to sandy deserts. Impermanent lakes occur along the borders between Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Lakebed sediments and sand seas often provide fine particles for dust storms.

Earth Observatory

Featured image credit: LANCE/MODIS-Aqua

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