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Dust and Fires in Central Africa
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Dust and Fires in Central Africa

April 11, 2013
This image shows the East African nations of Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, as well as portions of Kenya, Tanzania, and Yemen. Dominating the scene are the green plains of Somalia and mountains of Tanzania and Ethiopia. With altitudes as high as 4,620 meters (15,157 feet) in Ethiopia, the highlands pull moisture from the arid air, resulting in relatively lush vegetation. In fact, coffee—one of the world’s most prized crops—originated there. Throughout eastern Ethiopia and extending into Somalia is bright red clay soil. Similar coloration occurs in Kenya, to the southwest of Somalia. Although it’s difficult to see in this image, the southern end of the Great Rift Valley curves in an arc from the Gulf of Aman in Ethiopia to northern Kenya. This is a geological fault system that extends well across two continents, from Southwestern Asia into Eastern Africa for over 4,830 km (about 3,000 miles). This is a true-color Terra MODIS image from January 3, 2005. Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC


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