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Dasht-e Kavir
Sand dunes in the Rig-e Jenn in the Dasht-e Kavir
Dasht-e Kavir is located in Iran
Dasht-e Kavir
Dasht-e Kavir
Length800 km (500 mi)
Width500 km (310 mi)
Area77,600 km2 (30,000 sq mi)
Naming
Native nameدشت كوير (Persian)
Geography
CountryIran
ProvinceKhorasan, Semnan, Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd
Coordinates34°44′15.2″N 54°49′37.56″E / 34.737556°N 54.8271000°E / 34.737556; 54.8271000

Dasht-e Kavir (Persian: دشت كوير, lit.'Low Plains' in classical Persian, from khwar (low), and dasht (plain, flatland)) or the Kavir Desert, also known as Kavir-e Namak or the Great Salt Desert, is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian Plateau. It is about 800 kilometres (500 mi) long by 320 kilometres (200 mi) wide with a total surface area of about 77,600 km2 (30,000 sq mi), making it the world's 24th largest desert.[1] The desert stretches from the Alborz mountain range in the north-west to the Dasht-e Lut in the south-east. It is spread across the Iranian provinces of Khorasan, Semnan, Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd.

Features

In the center of the desert lies the salt marshes of Kavir Buzurg (Great Kavir), which is about 320 km (200 mi) long and 160 km (99 mi) wide. In the western part of the desert lies the Daryahcheh-e Namak ("salt lake"), 1,800 km2 (690 sq mi). It contains some large salt plates in a mosaic-like shape. It is part of a 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi) protected ecological zone, the Kavir National Park.

Climate and structure

Map of biotopes of Iran, showing location of Dasht-e Kavir (beige oval at right center).
  Forest steppe
  Forests and woodlands
  Semi-desert
  Desert lowlands
  Steppe
  Salted alluvial marshes

Dasht-e Kavir has an arid climate with little precipitation. However, there is usually some rainfall in winter, as well as the mountains that surround it, provide plenty of runoff—enough to create vast seasonal lakes, marshlands and playas. Daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary by as much as 70 °C (130 °F) over the course of a year. The weather can get quite cold during the nighttime in winter, routinely dropping to below 0 °C (32 °F) in some areas.

The desert soil is covered with sand and pebbles; there are marshes, seasonal lakes and seasonal river beds. The high temperatures and low humidity cause extreme vaporization, which leaves the marshes and mud grounds with large crusts of salt.

Climate data for Garmsār, Semnan Province, Altitude: 899.9 M from: 1986-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.8
(69.4)
24.6
(76.3)
32.2
(90.0)
36.6
(97.9)
40.8
(105.4)
45.0
(113.0)
47.0
(116.6)
46.0
(114.8)
41.0
(105.8)
36.4
(97.5)
28.4
(83.1)
22.2
(72.0)
47.0
(116.6)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 10.2
(50.4)
13.5
(56.3)
18.8
(65.8)
25.7
(78.3)
31.6
(88.9)
37.7
(99.9)
40.0
(104.0)
39.1
(102.4)
34.8
(94.6)
27.7
(81.9)
18.9
(66.0)
12.1
(53.8)
25.8
(78.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.7
(40.5)
7.4
(45.3)
12.4
(54.3)
18.6
(65.5)
24.0
(75.2)
29.7
(85.5)
32.4
(90.3)
31.1
(88.0)
26.4
(79.5)
20.0
(68.0)
12.2
(54.0)
6.5
(43.7)
18.8
(65.8)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −0.9
(30.4)
1.3
(34.3)
6.0
(42.8)
11.5
(52.7)
16.4
(61.5)
21.6
(70.9)
24.7
(76.5)
23.2
(73.8)
18.1
(64.6)
12.3
(54.1)
5.6
(42.1)
0.9
(33.6)
11.7
(53.1)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15.0
(0.59)
14.5
(0.57)
26.9
(1.06)
19.8
(0.78)
10.8
(0.43)
1.0
(0.04)
2.7
(0.11)
1.0
(0.04)
0.4
(0.02)
3.8
(0.15)
11.1
(0.44)
14.1
(0.56)
121.1
(4.79)
Average relative humidity (%) 64 55 47 39 32 23 25 25 28 36 50 64 41
Source: [2]
Climate data for Ardestan, Esfahan Province, Altitude: 1252.4 M from: 1992-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.2
(72.0)
26.4
(79.5)
32.0
(89.6)
34.4
(93.9)
39.6
(103.3)
43.2
(109.8)
44.4
(111.9)
43.4
(110.1)
39.6
(103.3)
34.2
(93.6)
29.4
(84.9)
22.6
(72.7)
44.4
(111.9)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 9.1
(48.4)
13.3
(55.9)
18.4
(65.1)
24.8
(76.6)
30.2
(86.4)
35.8
(96.4)
38.2
(100.8)
37.3
(99.1)
33.0
(91.4)
26.4
(79.5)
17.6
(63.7)
11.2
(52.2)
24.6
(76.3)
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.6
(40.3)
8.1
(46.6)
12.9
(55.2)
19.0
(66.2)
24.0
(75.2)
29.4
(84.9)
31.9
(89.4)
30.8
(87.4)
26.7
(80.1)
20.7
(69.3)
12.7
(54.9)
6.8
(44.2)
19.0
(66.1)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 0.1
(32.2)
2.8
(37.0)
7.4
(45.3)
13.2
(55.8)
17.9
(64.2)
22.9
(73.2)
25.6
(78.1)
24.4
(75.9)
20.4
(68.7)
15.1
(59.2)
7.7
(45.9)
2.4
(36.3)
13.3
(56.0)
Record low °C (°F) −15.2
(4.6)
−8.4
(16.9)
−5.2
(22.6)
1.2
(34.2)
5.8
(42.4)
13.0
(55.4)
18.2
(64.8)
15.8
(60.4)
10.5
(50.9)
6.6
(43.9)
−3.0
(26.6)
−10.2
(13.6)
−15.2
(4.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 24.1
(0.95)
15.1
(0.59)
23.1
(0.91)
15.5
(0.61)
13.3
(0.52)
0.9
(0.04)
0.4
(0.02)
0.9
(0.04)
0.5
(0.02)
2.0
(0.08)
8.9
(0.35)
22.4
(0.88)
127.1
(5.01)
Average snowy days 3.1 1.3 0.5 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 6.1
Average relative humidity (%) 52 41 33 29 24 19 19 17 18 26 38 51 31
Source: [3]
Climate data for Biarjamand, Semnan Province, Altitude: 1099.3 M from: 1992-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 7.6
(45.7)
11.2
(52.2)
16.7
(62.1)
23.3
(73.9)
28.6
(83.5)
33.5
(92.3)
35.6
(96.1)
34.7
(94.5)
30.7
(87.3)
24.5
(76.1)
16.3
(61.3)
9.6
(49.3)
22.7
(72.9)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.2
(36.0)
5.0
(41.0)
10.1
(50.2)
16.5
(61.7)
21.7
(71.1)
26.7
(80.1)
29.3
(84.7)
28.0
(82.4)
23.3
(73.9)
17.0
(62.6)
9.6
(49.3)
4.1
(39.4)
16.1
(61.0)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −3.2
(26.2)
−1.1
(30.0)
3.4
(38.1)
9.7
(49.5)
14.9
(58.8)
20.0
(68.0)
22.9
(73.2)
21.4
(70.5)
16.0
(60.8)
9.4
(48.9)
2.9
(37.2)
−1.5
(29.3)
9.6
(49.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15.4
(0.61)
13.2
(0.52)
28.2
(1.11)
23.7
(0.93)
15.4
(0.61)
4.3
(0.17)
0.6
(0.02)
1.3
(0.05)
2.0
(0.08)
3.1
(0.12)
7.2
(0.28)
13.1
(0.52)
127.5
(5.02)
Average relative humidity (%) 66 57 49 43 35 30 30 30 33 39 50 66 44
Source: [4]

Post-glacial lake system

Almost 3,000 years ago, at the start of the post-glacial era, the Kavir was a series of vast lakes.[citation needed]

Wildlife

Half Mountain, Dasht-e Kavir Desert. This small mountain is fault-bounded at its south edge. The alluvium is about 900 meters (2,900 feet) lower than the summit (labelled). Image is about 17 kilometers (10 miles) wide.

Vegetation in the Dasht-e Kavir is adapted to the hot and arid climate as well as to the saline soil in which it is rooted.

Persian gazelles live in parts of steppe and desert areas of the central plateau. Wild sheep (Ovis orientalis), camels, wild goats (Capra aegagrus)[5] and Persian leopards are common in mountainous areas. Night life brings on wild cats, wolves, foxes, and other carnivores.

Cultivation

The extreme heat and many storms in Dasht-e Kavir cause extensive erosion, which makes it almost impossible to cultivate the lands. The desert is almost uninhabited and knows little exploitation.

See also

References

  1. ^ Wright, John W., ed. (2006). The New York Times Almanac (2007 ed.). New York, New York: Penguin Books. p. 456. ISBN 0-14-303820-6.
  2. ^ I.R. OF IRAN SHAHREKORD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (IN PERSIAN) Archived 2017-08-29 at the Wayback Machine. 1986–2010
  3. ^ I.R. OF IRAN METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (IN PERSIAN) Archived 2017-08-29 at the Wayback Machine. 1992–2010
  4. ^ "آمار 166 ايستگاه سينوپتيك كشور تا پایان سال 2010 میلادی + 37 ایستگاه تا پایان سال 2005". Archived from the original on 17 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  5. ^ Mohammadian, H. Mammals of Iran. Shabpareh Publishing Institute. Tehran, Iran. 2005.ISBN 964-94487-9-9.