Dust over the Arabian Peninsula

Dust over the Arabian Peninsula

One day after blowing over the Persian Gulf, dust from the Arabian Peninsula spread in the opposite direction, extending over parts of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on February 3, 2012.

A wall of dust stretches north-south along the Arabian Peninsula, roughly 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the Red Sea coast. Plumes of dust also stretch over the Red Sea along the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border, and over the Gulf of Aden along Yemen’s southern shore.

The Empty Quarter, or Rub’ al Khali covers large parts of the Arabian Peninsula, including parts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. It is the world’s largest sand sea. The region provides plentiful material for dust storms.

  1. References

  2. Webster, D., (2005, February 1). Empty Quarter. National Geographic. Accessed February 6, 2012.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    February 3, 2012
  • Visualization Date:

    February 6, 2012
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration