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Dust Storm Near Lake Faguibine and Inner Niger Delta, Mali

16.7N 3.9W

May 19th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms, Lakes, Wetlands

Mali – May 19th, 2013

A dust storm in Mali blows a thick,  yellow cloud of sand towards Lake Faguibine (identifiable here as an elongated dark area near the top edge) and the Inner Niger Delta (center left).

Lake Faguibine is a lake in Mali on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert situated 80 km west of Timbuktu and 75 km north of the Niger River to which it is connected by a system of smaller lakes and channels. In years when the height of the annual flood of the river is sufficient, water flows from the river into the lake. Since the Sahel drought of the 1970s and 1980s the lake has been mostly dry. Water has only rarely reached the lake and even when it has done so, the lake has been only partially filled with water. This has caused a partial collapse of the local ecosystem.

The Inner Niger Delta, also known as the Macina, is a large area of lakes and floodplains in the semi-arid Sahel area of central Mali, just south of the Sahara desert. The Niger inland Delta lies in the Sahelian zone, and has an ecosystem that is largely dependent on the amount of flooding it receives. Due to its proximity to the widening Sahel, there have been concerns that the delta may be getting less rain every year. Here, the delta appears quite dry, blending in with the surrounding terrain rather than showing a great deal of green vegetation.

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