Dust over the Arabian Sea

Dust over the Arabian Sea

By January 13, 2013, a dust storm that originally arose in northern Iran had spread over the Arabian Sea. A veil of dust extended southward past Oman, and eastward to the coast of India. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image on January 13. Over most of the area pictured here, the dust was translucent. But off the coast of Oman, the swirl of dust was thick enough to completely hide the water surface.

Dust plumes initially arose from discrete source points in northern Iran, and the storm likely picked up additional particles as it spread. Over the course of three days, the dust storm traveled roughly 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles) to the south-southwest. Over the Arabian Sea, the leading edge of the dust storm spanned about 1,200 kilometers (700 miles).

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 5000x4000
  • JPEG 3 MB
  • KMZ 2 KB
  • GeoTIFF 57 MB

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:

    January 13, 2013
  • Visualization Date:

    January 14, 2013
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration