Monday, August 22, 2011

Gulf Of Oman, dust storm

This image is dominated by a dust and sand storm covering up the Gulf of Oman.

The scene shows a large part of Baluchistan, a mountainous region, with some deserts and barren plains, covering southwestern Pakistan and southeastern Iran (top right top center).

More towards the east, the Indus river providing irrigation to the valley plains, and throwing itself into the Arabian Sea about 100km southwest of Karachi, Pakistans largest city and chief port. The top right area of the image shows a part of the Thar Desert also known as the Great Indian Desert.

The Thar Desert is located in east Pakistan and northwest India and is bounded by a salt marsh called Rann of Kutch on the south. Soutwest of the image is the Arabian Peninsula completely covered under a veil of dust and sand, just as the Gulf of Oman, the principal vain for oil tankers from the nations around the Persian Gulf.

The dust and sand are transported for over 450 km off the coast. This kind of storm is a regular phenomenon in the area, which is usually due to very strong Shaman winds. The storms do not only interrupt daily life, they cause havoc, and present a danger for health and food security.

The frequency of the storms may be influenced by human activity, through heavy drainages in arid environments.

This Envisat Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image was aquired on 13 December 2003 working in full resolution mode to provide a spatial resolution of 300 metres.

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