Strong winds pulled up great clouds of dust from the An Nafud desert in northern Saudi Arabia on October 22, 2004. Violent wind storms are common in the An Nafud, the oval of red sand in the lower left corner of the image. Not only do the winds kick up sand storms such as this one, over time they have formed long dunes. Resembling waves on a sea of sand, the dunes are visible in the above image, but easier to see in the large image provided in the link above. This particular sand storm has swept out of the An Nafud basin over the Syrian Desert and the Iraqi border, and into the web of green formed by the Tigris and Euphrates River valleys. Along the right edge of the image, the rivers are emptying tan plumes of sediment into the Persian Gulf. The sediment fades into green and blue swirls as it diffuses in the Gulf waters. The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor aboard the OrbView-2 satellite captured this image on October 22, 2004.
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This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.