Dust over the Mediterranean

Dust over the Mediterranean

Dust from the Sahara drifted northward across the Mediterranean Sea toward Greece in early November 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on November 10.

A large plume extends hundreds of kilometers northeastward across the ocean, running roughly parallel to Italy’s southern coast. In the east, a smaller plume blows north, skirting the island of Kriti (Crete). Both plumes reach the Greek islands, where the airborne dust is thick enough to obscure the land and water surface below.

Isolated red dots appear in Kriti and Greece, indicating hotspots where MODIS has detected unusually high surface temperatures, most likely from fires.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x720
  • JPEG
  • 4400x5600
  • JPEG 3 MB
  • KMZ 2 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:

    November 10, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    November 12, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration