Saharan Dust Storm

Saharan Dust Storm

A giant dust plume blew across the Sahara Desert in early June 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on June 10. Appearing only slightly lighter than the earth-toned landscape below, the plume extends from Mauritania across Mali and deep into Algeria. Over Algeria, the dust plume forms distinct wave patterns, but appears thinner than it did over Mali.

Source points for the dust storm are not obvious in this image, but massive sand seas cover most of Mauritania, straddling the borders between that country, Mali, and Algeria. The initial dust plumes likely arose in the southwest and blew toward the northeast, kicking up additional dust particles along the way.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x720
  • JPEG
  • 7200x9200
  • JPEG 6 MB
  • 7200x9200
  • GeoTIFF 158 MB
  • KML 21 KB


  • Data Date:

    June 10, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    June 11, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration