December 9, 2012 - Dust storm in the Gobi Desert

Dust storm in the Gobi Desert

The Gobi Desert stretches over parts of southern Mongolia and northern China. Home to a variety of landscapes, from grassy plain to bare rock to sand sea, this desert is one of the world’s most prolific dust-producing regions. On November 27, 2012, a dust storm struck the Gobi Desert, and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a natural-color image the same day.

Both sand seas and impermanent lakes occur along the China-Mongolia border, and dust plumes arose from multiple locations in this region in late November. Some of the dust on November 27 apparently arose from the fine sediments around Gaxun Nur, an impermanent lake just south of the Mongolia border. Those lakebed sediments were lighter in color than the camel-colored dust to the east. Blowing eastward across China, some of the dust likely came to rest on snow cover south of the Mongolia borer.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 11/27/2012
Resolutions: 1km (371.2 KB), 500m (1.3 MB), 250m (3.1 MB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC