September 21, 2009 - Dust Storm in South Australia

Dust Storm in South Australia

The MODIS on the Aqua satellite captured this image of a dust storm in South Australia on September 12, 2009. This is the Lake Eyre basin, a vast lake that fills only during the rainy season of exceptionally wet years, but remains dry during other seasons. As water evaporates from the lake, it leaves a fine layer of sediment that is easily lifted in the wind. Sediment from dry lakebeds is a significant source of airborne dust worldwide.

The winds in this region were strong enough to blow dust from the Lake Eyre basin eastwards over Australia and out over the South Pacific ocean, as you can see in this Terra image from the same day. By September 14, the dust had clouded skies over New Zealand, reducing visibility to less than 10 kilometers, said The Press, a New Zealand newspaper.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 09/12/2009
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC