In early September 2011, dust plumes blew northward from Argentina’s Laguna Mar Chiquita. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on September 4, 2011.
Driven by varying levels of moisture, the shallow Laguna Mar Chiquita expands and shrinks, reaching about 5,770 square kilometers (2,230 square miles) at its maximum extent, and about 1,960 square kilometers (760 square miles) at its minimum. When the water level drops, fine sediments around the lake perimeter are easily lofted into the air by winds, creating dust storms like the one in this image.
This image shows dry conditions outside of the lake as well. West of Laguna Mar Chiquita, fires (indicated by red outlines) send smoke plumes northward.
- Global Nature Fund. (2011, September 12). Mar Chiquita. Accessed September 13, 2011.
This image originally appeared on the Earth Observatory. Click here to view the full, original record.