Seasonality: The Mali/Chad Plume (MCP) exists from March to October each year at significantly varying levels of intensity.
Sources Anthropogenic: The MCP is nearly exclusively natural. However some of the plume may be derived from peat fires in lake beds which have dried up in the drought in the Sahel and Mali.
Sources Natural: The Bodele depression in Chad is recognised by NASA as probably the greatest source of dust aerosols in the World due to the configuration of the mountains to the north and south of the depression and these aerosols form the vast majority of the MCP.
Trajectory: The MCP is driven to the west by the prevailing easterly winds at these latitudes and commonly extends over the Atlantic Ocean to South and Central America. It has been postulated that the MCP provides iron fertiliser for the Amazon rainforest.