Dust Storm in Libya

Dust Storm in Libya

Multiple dust plumes blew off the coast of Libya and over the Mediterranean Sea in early February 2013. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of the dust storm on February 7. The dust plumes formed roughly parallel lines moving toward the northeast.

Away from the coast, where a Mediterranean climate predominates, Libya consists of dry desert. Only about 1 percent of the land is arable, and vast sand seas provide plentiful material for dust storms.

With so little water available for crops, Libya taps aquifers for irrigation. The green dots visible southeast of Banghazi (Benghazi) in this image correspond with part of a massive water project.

  1. References

  2. CIA World Factbook. (2013, February 5) Libya. Accessed February 12, 2013.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 720x360
  • JPEG
  • 3200x2400
  • JPEG 1 MB
  • GeoTIFF 9 MB
  • KMZ 2 KB

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:

    February 7, 2013
  • Visualization Date:

    February 12, 2013
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration