Saharan Dust Storm

Saharan Dust Storm

Dust blew over the borders of Niger, Algeria, and Mali on July 4, 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image the same day. The dust differs from the land underneath primarily in the plume’s uniform color. Whereas the Sahara land surface varies from beige to brick, the dust plume is uniformly tan.

Source points for the plume are not obvious in this image, but at least some of the dust may have arisen from sand seas stretching over much of eastern Niger. Sand seas also sprawl over most of Mali and much of Algeria. Over southwestern Libya, skies are clear.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 6200x4800
  • JPEG 2 MB
  • KMZ 12 KB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    July 4, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    July 6, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration