Salt domes of Iran | Extraordinary examples of evolution of geologic history
Salt domes, one of the main units of structural geomorphology in Iran, are unique in their diversity, form, formation process and development.
The location of salt domes in Iran
Salt domes are seen in south, southwest and central areas of Iran. Fars province has the most frequency of salt domes. The provinces of Hormozgan, Kerman, Semnan and Ghom have the most frequencies after Fars. In addition, Hormoz, Lark and Hengam Islands are mainly made up of salt domes. There are more than 130 salt domes in the southern part of Zagros Mountains, which affected the structure of Zagros Mountains as one of the world’s most noteworthy simple folded systems.
The formation of salt domes
A salt dome is both a geological feature (Diapirism), and a geomorphologic feature that was formed by the upward movement of lower salt layers to the surface. Diapirism is a process during which the materials with lower specific weight break the upper layers and appear on the surface.
Unique salt domes of Iran
Intactness, natural condition, pristine environment and eye-catching beauty, are from the unique features of these salt domes.
Some of these structures are unique in the world, from which we can mention Jashk in Bushehr province, Namakdan in Qeshm Island, Kenar Siah and Jahani in Fars, Anguran in Zanjan, and Ghom in Ghom province.
Jashk Salt Dome
Jashk Salt Dome is considered as the largest and the most beautiful salt mountain in Iran and Middle East. It is located between the two counties of Dayyer and Dashti in Bushehr province. It is 12 kilometers long and 4.5 kilometers wide, which spreads over an area of 3650 hectares. White salts of the dome make it look like a beautiful snowy mountain.Due to the existence of metal elements, orange, yellow,red and gray lines are seen in some parts of the dome.On this account, they are also called Rainbow Salt.
Due to the water erosion, unique structures were formed in this place, Such as: a cave that was formed by the melting of salt sediments, with beautiful salt crystal Stalactites and Stalagmites, a series of columns called Takht-Div and a valley in orange and white color, called Gol Kalam (Cauliflower).
Namakdan Salt Dome
Namakdan Salt Dome is famous for a cave located in its southern part. This cave, with a length of more than 6 kilometers, is the world’s longest salt cave. The formation of caves in the salt domes is due to the rain water. As the rain water penetrates the salt domes, it dissolves the salt and enters the dome and forms different geological structures like salt falls, salt spring and salt caves.
Ghom Salt Dome
The Salt Dome of Ghom is located 15 kilometers away from Ghom-Jafariyeh Road and has a small lake in its heart. The small lake in this salt dome has not only a beautiful scene due to its crystal salts, but also health benefits which make it a popular attraction for visitors.
* Written by Arefeh Firouzan.
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