October 6, 2008 - Dust Plume off Iceland

Dust Plum off Iceland

Dust storms usually call to mind vast sand seas along the Equator, or dried up lakebeds in Central Asia, but such storms can also occur at much higher latitudes. On September 17, 2008, the MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of a dust storm blowing off the northern coast of Iceland.

In this natural-color image, the dust plume looks like a beige veil fluttering toward the north-northwest. The source points for the storm appear immediately north of the massive Vatnajökull Glacier. The source points’ proximity to the glacier makes sense because dust storms at such high latitudes often result from glacial flour, or loess, created by the glacier’s grinding action on the rocks underneath.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 09/17/2008
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC