Dust Storm in the Taklimakan
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Dust Storm in the Taklimakan

April 25, 2008

Dust plumes covered much of the Taklimakan Desert in late April 2008. The MODIS on NASA's Terra satellite captured this image on April 21, 2008. In this image, the dust appears as a beige blur that fills most of the desert basin. A patch of tan in the southeast reveals the desert floor, and land surface features visible along the desert's southern rim indicate an area of clear skies.

The Taklimakan (or Takla Makan) Desert fills the Tarim Basin that lies between the Tien Shan Mountains to the north and Kunlun Mountains to the south. The Taklimakan is one of the world's largest sandy deserts, and water flowing into the basin finds no outlet. Over the years, water-deposited sediments have steadily accumulated, creating sand cover 300 meters (roughly 1,000 feet) thick in some places.

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