Sahara dust plume in 1998, heading over the north-east Atlantic Ocean. The images help reveal wind patterns such as trade winds that steer plumes and clouds.

Sahara Dust.

Westward dust transport from the Sahara across the central Atlantic has been a common occurrence this spring, with major events visible in both satellite images and photographs. The dust plume is shaped by the wind, forming waves near the surface immediately offshore. Approximately 400 to 700 million tons of dust are transported from the Sahara annually. Among this dust is phosphorus, an essential nutrient that acts like a fertilizer, which the Amazon depends on in order to flourish. Choking on Saharan Dust February 2, 2016 JPEG Between November and April, Harmattan trade winds carry vast amounts of mineral dust from the Sahara Desert …

Between November and April, Harmattan trade winds carry vast amounts of mineral dust from the Sahara Desert across West African skies toward the Gulf of Guinea.

Plankton. The Terra spacecraft is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. Observations of Saharan Dust by LITE It has long been known that large quantities of dust are transported from the Sahara desert across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean by the North Atlantic tradewinds (Prospero and Carlson, 1972; Schutz et al., 1981). At left, a natural color image captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite shows the dust as it travels offshore on September 21, 2009. Airborne African dust regularly reaches northeastern South America and the Caribbean. (The milky lines running vertically across each image are caused by sunglint, the reflection of sunlight off the ocean.) Credit: NASA > Click for larger image. Click on the image to see the movements of aerosols in June, July, and August of 2001. Credit: NASA

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens and Lauren Dauphin, using GEOS-5 data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA GSFC, and MODIS data …

In June 2014, winds pushed a river of dust from western Africa across the Atlantic Ocean.

Here Comes the Saharan Dust. NASA researchers have linked similar seasonal dust storms from the Sahara Desert to the cooling of North Atlantic surface temperatures. For the first time, a NASA satellite has quantified in three dimensions how much dust makes the trans-Atlantic journey from the Sahara Desert to the Amazon rainforest.

Thick dust blew through the Sahara Desert in late June 2012, extending over parts of Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Morocco.

This dust plays a crucial role in replenishing nutrients that are usually leached by rainfall in the Amazon Rainforest.

A NASA satellite has been monitoring the movement of sand from the Sahara Desert in Africa to the Amazon rainforest in South America.. Saharan dust blows off the west coast of Africa and over the Canary Islands in this image captured Nov. 11, 2006 by an instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite.

A new video from NASA shows how the Sahara Desert produces massive storms which send tons of dust into the atmosphere – much of which is transported across the Atlantic Ocean and deposited in the Amazon Rainforest and the Caribbean.

Caption by Adam Voiland. An even higher, thinner tan cloud veils the surface-level dust.