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Dust Blowing Off Coast of Mauritania – June 22nd, 2009

18.5N 17.8W

June 22nd, 2009 Category: Dust Storms, Image of the day

Dust off coast of Mauritania - June 21st, 2009

Dust off coast of Mauritania - June 21st, 2009

Dust near Canary Islands - June 20th, 2009

Dust near Canary Islands - June 20th, 2009

Strong winds blow dust off the west coast of Africa, from southern Morocco and Western Sahara to Guinea Bissau.

The dust is most concentrated off the coasts of Mauritania, where a dense yellow plume is visible, Senegal and the Gambia.

Approximately three-fourths of Mauritania is desert or semidesert. As a result of extended, severe drought, the desert has been expanding since the mid-1960s.

To the west, between the ocean and the plateaus, are alternating areas of clayey plains (regs) and sand dunes (ergs), some of which shift from place to place, gradually moved by high winds. The dunes generally increase in size and mobility toward the north.

The smaller image, focuses on the Canary Islands, off the coast near the Morocco-Western Sahara border. In this image, taken a day earlier than the main one, dust can be seen blowing offshore, towards the islands.

The Canary Islands are also visible in the full image taken the day after, however, here the area around them is clear. The winds have shifted, and the dust is being carried offshore further south.

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