Saharan dust off West Africa
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
A sinuous river of dust snakes out over the Atlantic Ocean off of the western coast of Africa in this true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image taken by the Terra satellite on December 13, 2003. Over subsequent days, the plume snaked a westward track over the Atlantic toward the Caribbean.
Trade winds carry the dust across the Ocean, where it is then deposited into the waters of the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and western Atlantic. Minerals in the dust have been linked to the emergence of harmful algal blooms, which are also called red tides.