Dust storm across the Persian Gulf
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The mountainous terrain of western Iran appears to be diverting the previous days’ dust storms southward across the Persian Gulf. In this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from March 28, 2003, dust is pooled in the valleys closest to the coast and the front stretches across hundreds of miles. Into the waters of the Persian Gulf (center), bright blue swirls of sediment pour in from rivers. In places the swirls appear tinged with green, which suggests some marine plant life could be present. Several thermal anomalies were detected by MODIS and are marked with red dots. In southern Iraq, these appear to be associated with oil fires, which are producing dark, thick smoke plumes. Another source of smoke and aerosols is the city of Baghdad, where massive plumes of blackish-brown smoke are streaming southward.