View Full Version : MODIS: Dust Storm in Pakistan

08-04-04, 09:28
April 8, 2004

Afternoon winds often sweep down from the Makran Coast Range in Western Pakistan (right) and Eastern Iran (left). This frequent wind pattern becomes visible when dust from the coastal valleys is lifted on the breeze and pulled out over the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. This particular storm was recorded by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on March 23, 2004. The horizontal stripes evident over the water mark the beginning and the end of the rotation of MODISdouble-sided scan mirror. The lines are caused by minute differences in the two sides of the scan mirror.

This area straddling the border between Pakistan and Iran is called Baluchistan. As the dust and lack of green vegetation attest, the region is largely made up of dry desert basins with hills and mountains that run parallel to the coast. Despite the hostility of the land, Baluchistan has been populated since the Stone Age, between 7,000 and 3,000 B.C. Today, the area has few inhabitants, most of which are pastoral nomads and small-scale farmers.