June 5, 2009 - Dust Plume off the Coast of Libya

Dust Plume off the Coast of Libya

The MODIS on the Terra satellite caught these images of a dust plume off the coast of Libya on May 31, 2009. The main image was captured in the afternoon, and if you move your mouse over it, you will see a second image captured a few hours earlier in the morning.

Thanks to the uniform color of the land surface, source points for the storm are not easily discerned in this image, but the airborne dust likely arose from sediments near the coast. In the morning, the plume blew toward the northwest, past the coastal city of Banghazi, fanning out slightly over the Mediterranean Sea. By the afternoon, although still intact, the dust plume had dissipated somewhat, and changed direction from northwest to west. In contrast to the earlier image, the dust passes east (rather than west) of Banghazi. As in the earlier image, however, skies appear completely clear outside of the dust plume.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 05/31/2009
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC