Dust Blowing Over the Caspian Sea • Earth.com Dust Blowing Over

Last update: August 13th, 2020 at 7:00 am

Dust Blowing Over the Caspian Sea shos on The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of dust blowing over the Caspian Sea, Kalmykia and Astrakhan regions in Russia.

Dune fields west of the Volga River appear to be the source of some of the dust. A longer plume, most likely made of dust from Turkmenistan, is also visible crossing the Caspian Sea.

Covering an area of roughly 371,000 square kilometers (143,200 square miles), the Caspian Sea is the world’s largest salt lake. The water appears green in its shallow northern part, where it has an average depth of just 5 to 6 meters (16 to 20 feet). The southern part of the Caspian Sea is much deeper and appears dark blue.

The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest inland body of water, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is an endorheic basin (a basin without outflows) located between Europe and Asia, to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the broad steppe of Central Asia. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi) (excluding the detached lagoon of Garabogazköl) and a volume of 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi). It has a salinity of approximately 1.2% (12 g/l), about a third of the salinity of most seawater. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southeast. The Caspian Sea is home to a wide range of species and may be best known for its caviar and oil industries. Pollution from the oil industry and dams on rivers draining into the Caspian Sea have had negative effects on the organisms living in the sea.

 

Credit: NASA images by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption Adam Voiland.

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