Huge dust plume over the Atlantic Ocean - February 2012

The MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite took this picture (acquired February 6, 2012):

According to the NASA EarthObservatory "sandy deserts covers most of Mauritania, and those sand seas may provided the material for most of the dust", but it is more likely that large proportion of the emitted Saharan dust can be associated with some distinct source areas situated in topographic lows. Large sand seas cannot be regarded as effective source areas due to the shorter atmospheric residence time and shorter transport of the sand particles. However, the bombardment energy of sand grains can disrupt the hardened and compacted smooth surfaces of salt lakes beds and playas, accordingly enhance the amount of the emitted dust particles.
The dust-laden air moves westward and can reach the South American continent and the Caribbean, as it is shown on the forecast model of SKIRON.

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