Plumes over the Ethiopia-Sudan Border

Plumes over the Ethiopia-Sudan Border

13 March 2009

A likely combination of dust and smoke lined the border between Sudan and Ethiopia on 10 March 2009. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture the same day.

10 March 2009

The multiple red outlines in this image indicate hotspots where MODIS has detected unusually warm surface temperatures, probably from agricultural fires. These fires contribute some smoke to the particulate matter overhead, but the beige color of the plumes, especially in the north, suggests that they involve dust as well. The source of this dust is not immediately obvious in this image. Although Ethiopia had experienced drought conditions farther east, western Ethiopia—where the plumes appear to arise—was not experiencing harsh drought conditions at the time this image was acquired. Dust plumes might have arisen from winds associated with a local weather event. Skies over nearby T’ana Hayk (Lake Tana) are clear.

The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail) of 250 meters per pixel.

(source: earth observatory)

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