Impermanent lakes occur along the border between Iran and Afghanistan. When the lakes dry out, the newly exposed sediments provide material for dust storms. On December 13, 2012, a dust storm struck the region, and at least some of the dust arose from the fine sediments along the Iran-Afghanistan border.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on December 13. The image shows two large plumes, one along the Iran-Afghanistan border, and another in western Pakistan. (The high-resolution image linked to above also shows multiple dust plumes blowing southward off the coasts of Iran and Pakistan.) In western Pakistan, the dust is thick enough to completely hide the ground surface below.