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24 November 2011

Dust Storm off Argentina

(Click on image for larger view.)

Dust blew off the coast of Argentina in late November 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image on November 22, 2011. The dust plume appears to originate southwest of Bahía Blanca and blow in a counter-clockwise arc toward the northeast.
This image also shows part of a phytoplankton bloom (image lower right). Dust storms often deposit iron and other nutrients into the ocean, providing fuel for the tiny, plant-like organisms. In this region, where the sea floor drops significantly east of the South American coast, phytoplankton also benefit from upwelling of nutrient-rich waters from the ocean depths.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.
Terra - MODIS - NASA