Dust Plumes off Western Africa

Dust Plumes off Western Africa

Multicolored dust plumes blew off the coast of western Africa in mid-September 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on September 15, 2010. An especially dense, dark plume blows over the Atlantic Ocean just south of the Western Sahara-Mauritania border. Around this plume are thinner, lighter plumes. The dust appears lightest in the north.

The varying colors of the plumes might result from different points of origin, or simply from different densities of dust. Source points for this dust storm aren’t obvious in this image, but sand seas sprawl over most of Mauritania, and the dust could have easily arisen from that country.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

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  • JPEG
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  • JPEG 2 MB
  • KMZ 10 KB


  • Data Date:

    September 15, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    September 15, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration