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Iran Geography (2015/10/08)
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Iran with 1,648,195 Km2 (636,375 mi2) area, is one of the 20 largest countries worldwide. The country is located in South-West Asia with border to Armenia, Azerbaijan (the Nakhichevan Republic) and Turkmenistan in North, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in East, Iraq and Turkey in West. In addition to these countries, through the Persian Gulf Iran is neighbor to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arabic Emirates.

 

 Mountains of Iran

Some 55% of Iran’s land area consists of mountains and mountain plateaus which divided into 4 main areas as Alburz, Zagros, Central Iran and East of Iran. Iran’s tallest summit is Damavand in Alborz Mountain, standing 5,610 meters above sea level. Its summit was first reached in 1837 by a group of European by Supervision of Tyler Thompson. According to Iranian Tourism Organization documents it was reached by group of Iranian in 1857 by supervision of Colonel Mohammad Sadegh Khan Qajar.

1. Alburz, Elburz or Elborz, is a mountain range in northern Iran that stretches from the border of Azerbaijan along the western and entire southern coast of the Caspian Sea and finally runs northeast and merges into the Aladagh Mountains in the northern parts of Khorasan.

2. The Zagros Mountain range stretches south and west from the borders of Turkey and Russia to the Persian Gulf, and is Iran's largest mountain range (but not the highest which are The Alborz), rising in the western half of the country and along the northern border.

3. There are uninterrupted altitudes in central Iran. Some of them are connected to the Alborz or the Zagros. They can mainly be categorized into “Qahrud” and “Banan” mountains. “Qahrud”, which are longer and higher, start from around Kashan and the south of Tehran to Kerman. “Banan” are the continuation of the former one to “Makran” area in Sistan and Baluchestan province.  At these ranges, “Shir kuh” near Yazd is 4075m ASL.

The central part of Iran is a very significant region as far as minerals are concerned. There is a little rainfall during year, sudden changes in weather, strong winds, a few permanent rivers and flood producing rivers in this region.

4. The Mountains in the East extended from Khorasan to Sistan and Baluchestan provinces, that can be categorized into three major zones:

  1. “Jaam” in south Khorasan, is generally extended in E-W direction.
  2. “Qaen ” to the south of “Jaam”, includes “Ahangaran” peak, 2877m ASL.
  3. “Makran” is extended from “Zabol” to “Bam Posht” at Sistan and Baluchestan province. The highest peak in this region is called “Taftan”, a burned-out volcano, which stands in the SE of Iran with an altitude of 4050m ASL.

 


 

- Deserts of Iran

Iran is situated in a high-altitude plateau surrounded by connected ranges of mountains. The well-known deserts of Iran are at two major regions: 1)  Dasht-e-Kavir, and 2) Kavir-e-Lut. They are both some of the most arid and maybe hottest areas of their kinds in the world.

1. Kvīr Desert, Persian Dasht-e Kavīr, also spelled Dasht-i Kavīr,  great salt desert of central Iran. Located in a basin southeast of the Elburz Mountains, it is approximately 240 miles (390 km) wide. The desert is distinguished by salt crust, caused by the almost rainless climate and intense surface evaporation, lying over treacherous, quicksandlike salt marshes that are almost uninhabited. Settlements are found only in the surrounding mountain ranges.

2. Lūt Desert, Persian Dasht-e Lūt, also spelled Dasht-i Lūt,  desert in eastern Iran. It stretches about 200 miles (320 km) from northwest to southeast and is about 100 miles (160 km) wide. In the east a great massif of dunes and sand rises, while in the west an extensive area of high ridges is separated by wind-swept corridors. In its lowest, salt-filled depression—less than 1,000 feet (300 metres) above sea level—the summer heat and low humidity are believed to be unsurpassed anywhere.

 


 

- Forest area of Iran

Having forests with an area of nearly 12.4 mil ha (7.4% of the country total area), it has various geographic conditions, producing different forests of various tree and shrub species and production capacity in different edapho- climatic conditions. Iran is divided into vegetational regions as follows.

1. Hyrcanian (Caspian) region:

The region that covers an area with 1,925,125 ha, extends throughout the south coast of Caspian Sea and northern part of the country. It has high production capacity due to humid temperate climate and suitable soil. Hyrcanian forests extend for 800 km in length. Main tree and shrub species are:

2. Arasbaran region

The region with an area of 164,000 ha are situated in north - west of Iran and east Azarbaijan province has cold and semi - humid climate. The region has an important role in soil conservation, regulation of hydrology of surface and underground water, wildlife protection, biological diversity and supplying fuelwood requirements.

3. Irano - Touranian region

The region covers an area of about 3,452,775 ha with dry and mainly cold climate in winter. They are situated in Khorasan, Azarbaijan, Markazi and westem Provinces. Regardig to topographical conditions and diversity of species, the region is divided into plain and mountainous sub - regions.

In mountainous sub-region the juniperus polycar species are developed .The sub- region has dry and cold climate, temperate summer and the annual precipitation is about 4000 mm. The plain sub- region is dominated by desert climate and hot summer. Its main species are:

4. Zagrosian region:

The region extends throughout the zagros mountain in the west and south - west of Iran, west Azarbaijan, Kordistan, Kermanshah, Lorestan, Fars, Charmahal & Bakhtiyari, Yasouj and north of Khozistan.

Zagrosian region with an area of about 4,749,000 ha has semi - arid climate and temperate winter. It also has high importance in soil conservation, regulation of hydrology of surface and underground water and exploitation of by - products. The large rivers such as Karun,Karkhe and Zayandehroud originate from these forests. Main Zagrosian. region species are :

5. Persian Gulf and Omanian region

The region with an area of 2,130,000 ha extends throughout southern parts of the country in Khosiztan, Boushehr, Hormozgan and Sistan- Baluchistan provinces. They are dominated by sub-equatrial climate. 

 

- Seas & Lakes of Iran

1. The Caspian Sea: The Caspian Sea, which is the largest landlocked body of water in the world (424,240 sq. km.), lies some 85 feet below the sea level. It is comparatively shallow, and for some centuries has been slowly shrinking in size. Its salt content is considerably less than that of the oceans and though it abounds with fish, its shelly coasts do not offer any good natural harbours, and sudden and violent storms make it dangerous for small boats. The important ports on the Caspian coast are: Bandar Anzali, Noshahr, and Bandar Turkman.

2. The Persian Gulf: the shallow marginal part of the Indian Ocean that lies between the Arabian Peninsula and south-east Iran. The sea has an area of 240,000 square kilometres. Its length is 990 kilometres, and its width varies from a maximum of 338 kilometres to a minimum of 55 kilometres in the Strait of Hormuz. It is bordered on the north, north-east and east by Iran, on the north-west by Iraq and Kuwait, on the west and south-west by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar, and on the south and south-east by the United Arab Emirates and partly Oman. The term Persian Gulf is often used to refer not only proper to the Persian Gulf but also to its outlets, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, which open into the Arabian Sea.

3. Oman Sea, situated at the south of Iran, connects the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. With an approximate area of 903,000 km?, the Oman Sea is surrounded by Iran and Pakistan at the north, Deccan peninsula at the east and Arabia peninsula at the west.