Landsat 8 is the recently launched USGS satellite and has a powerful Operational Ground Imager (OLI). OLI is a powerful high dynamic range multispectral scanner. OLI is doing a great job keeping track of the Earth, and now the images it has taken show winds in Namibia that collect dust and carry it into the Atlantic Ocean. This is reported by NASA.
The winds that carry this dust are called Berg winds. Berg’s winds descend from the mountains and plateaus inland in winter. They can appear suddenly in the morning, and due to adiabatic heating, they increase the temperature to 15-20 degrees Celsius (60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit)
Berg’s winds are hot and dry, and they collect small deposits and carry them across the ocean.
Namibia is located between two deserts, the Kalahari and Namib. This high, dry Central Plateau generates winds that carry dust over the ocean. The central plateau covers a large strip of land that runs vertically throughout the country. The photo shows how the dust “flows” from the Namibian desert into the Atlantic Ocean.
Satellites have captured many images of dust transporting on the Earth’s surface. Transporting dust from inland to oceanic areas can be an important source of nutrients for phytoplankton. Sometimes these winds deposit so many nutrients that they cause plankton blooms.
Earlier this month, ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel and Aeolus satellites tracked a massive plume of dust all the way from the Sahara Desert to North America.