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Dust storm in southwest Asia
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Dust storm in southwest Asia

June 7, 2011
Dust plumes blew over southwestern Asia at the end of May 2011. On May 31, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color image of dust plumes blowing over the borders of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Iran lies in the west, Afghanistan in the northeast, and Pakistan in the southeast of the image.

The thickest plume originates in eastern Iran. The opaque plume blows toward the south-southeast, passing over parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. To the east, another plume blows in the same direction. Farther east (upper right quadrant of the image), a camel-colored, unevenly shaped plume appears to float over Afghanistan.

Dust plumes in this region often originate from dry lakebed sediments along the Iran-Afghanistan border, and from sandy deserts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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