Impermanent lakes occur along the border between Iran and Afghanistan. When the lakes dry out, the newly exposed sediments provide material for dust storms. On December 13, 2012, a dust storm struck the region, and at least some of the dust arose from the fine sediments along the Iran-Afghanistan border.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on December 13. The image shows two large plumes, one along the Iran-Afghanistan border, and another in western Pakistan. In western Pakistan, the dust is thick enough to completely hide the ground surface below.