Dust plume off the south coast of Iceland.

Dust plume off the south coast

Satellite images from NASA reveal the extent


Strong northerly winds for the past few days have given rise to a large dust plume off the south coast of Iceland, as seen on a MODIS satellite image from NASA, 16 September 2013.

Below both Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull ice-caps there are vast glacial outwash plains, sandur, which stretch from the glacial margins to the sea.

Dust from the sandur plains can be carried far from the shore by strong northerly winds. This is quite frequent but has been particularly marked now, with a dust plume reaching easily a few hundred kilometers from the south coast.

Iceland's southern coast shows in the upper third of the image, see full size. The dust plume originates just to the east of the Mýrdalsjökull ice-cap.

Near real time satellite images from MODIS are available at our Icelandic web site, courtesy of NASA. Move the slider below the map to see images a few days back in time.

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