Dust Plumes over the Arabian Sea


Multiple dust plumes blew off the coasts of Iran and Pakistan on November 29, 2012. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite observed the dust plumes in the morning, and MODIS on the Aqua satellite observed the plumes in the afternoon.

These images document the movement of the plumes southward over the Arabian Sea. The plumes apparently arose from fine sediments near the coast. Some of the plumes were thick enough to hide the water surface below, especially two large plumes off the coast of Pakistan. On the afternoon of November 29, those plumes fanned out over the ocean water.

Sand seas, saltpans, and impermanent rivers in this region provide sediments that can easily be lofted into the air. The southern coasts of Pakistan and Iran rank among the world’s leading dust-producing regions.

NASA images courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michon Scott.

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