African Dust Plumes
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African Dust Plumes

June 23, 2014
Strong winds across arid sands blew plumes of dust off the African coast and over the Atlantic Ocean in early June, 2014. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a stunning true-color image of the scene on June 7.

Parallel plumes of tan dust blow generally westward off of Angola (north), and southwesterly off of Namibia (south). The plumes from Angola appear to be broader, thicker and darker in color than those arising from Namibia.

The Namib Desert stretches hundreds of kilometers along the Namibian coast. While giant sand dunes are found primarily in the far southern Namib Desert, sandy desert terrain can be found in a strip along almost the entire coast of the country. Inland, the land surface is made up more of gravel plains and rocky hills. The southern coast of Angola is also arid desert, and a frequent source of dust and sand storms.

Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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