Satellites Capture a Massive Dust Storm in Namibia Streaming Over The Atlantic Ocean

Landsat eight strikes all over again.

Landsat eight is the United States Geological Survey’s most not too long ago introduced satellite, and it retains the impressive Operational Land Imager (OLI.) The OLI is a impressive multi-spectral imager with a broad dynamic assortment.


The OLI does a excellent occupation of keeping an eye on Earth, and now it really is captured illustrations or photos of winds in Namibia choosing dust up and carrying it out over the Atlantic Ocean.

namibiaduststrmwide oli 2020199The berg winds carrying sand out over the Atlantic Ocean. (USGS/Landsat eight/OLI)

The winds that carry this dust are called berg winds.

Berg winds arrive down from mountains and plateaus additional inland through the wintertime. They can show up suddenly in the early morning, and owing to adiabatic heating, they elevate the temperature by up to 15 to 20 degrees Celsius (sixty to sixty eight degrees F.)

Berg winds are both of those incredibly hot and dry, and they decide up great sediment and carry it out over the ocean. These illustrations or photos are from 17 July 2020, when a berg wind was energetic.

Adiabatic heating is an fascinating — and rather counterintuitive — natural phenomenon. It begins with increased elevation areas and the air there. That air is cooler than reduced elevation areas.

But as the air descends to the Namibian coastline, it really is compressed. That compression heats the air, producing the wind heat, in some cases uncomfortably so.


Namibia is a dry country with only two everlasting natural lakes. It receives the minimum rainfall of any country in sub-Saharan Africa. Namibia is situated in between two deserts, the Kalahari and the Namib.

Its substantial, dry Central Plateau spawns the berg winds that carry the dust over the ocean. The Central Plateau handles a big swathe of land running vertically down the length of the country.

Satellites have captured a lot of illustrations or photos of dust transportation at the Earth’s surface area. The transportation of dust from inland areas to ocean areas can be an vital source of vitamins for phytoplankton.

Sometimes, these winds deposit so substantially vitamins that they result in plankton blooms. These are vital activities in the biosphere, due to the fact plankton varieties the foundation of the aquatic foodstuff world wide web.

Previously this month, the ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel and Aeolus satellites tracked a massive dust plume travelling all the way from the Sahara Desert to North The us.

Aerosols from Saharan dust plume pillars 1024x576The Saharan dust plume over the Atlantic Ocean in 2020. (ESA/CC BY-SA three. IGO)

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