Desert is a familiar word for Iranians. As this word, always reminds us of an arid aria with few plants. Where you can hardly find water and the living conditions are intolerable.
The center of Iran consists of several closed basins that collectively are referred to as the Central Plateau. The average elevation of this plateau is about 900 meters (2,953 ft), but several mountains of this plateau exceed 3,000 meters (9,843 ft). The eastern part of the plateau is covered by two salt deserts, the Dasht-e Kavir (Great Salt Desert) and the Dasht-e Lut. Except for some scattered oases, these deserts are uninhabited.
Iranian Kavirs (deserts) have attracted special interest and may be unique in the variety of their composition and surface types. They offer a prospect of desolate waste that extends almost continuously from within 50 km of Tehran to Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf.
Dasht-e Lut (Emptiness Desert)
Satelite-photo-of-Dasht-e-Kavir-by-NASAIran’s geography consists of a plateau surrounded by mountains and divided into drainage basins. Dasht-e Lut is one of the largest of these desert basins, 480 kilometers (300 miles) long and 320 kilometers (200 miles) wide, and also one of the driest and hottest places on Planet Earth! A NASA satellite recorded surface temperatures in the Lut desert of Iran as high as 71 °C (159 °F), the hottest tempera ture ever recorded on the surface of the Earth.
This region which covers an area of about 480 kilometers is called Gandom Beriyan (the toasted wheat). Its surface is wholly matted with black volcano lava.
There are reports that no living creature lives in this region. Dasht-e Lut has an area of about 51,800 square kilometers (20,000 mi²).
Dasht-e Kavir (Great Salt Desert)
Dasht-e Kavir (Central Desert), also known as Kavir-e Namak or Great Salt Desert is a large desert lying in the middle of Iranian Plateau. It is about 800 kilometers (497 mi) long and 320 kilometers (198 mi) wide with a total surface area of about 77,600 km² (~30,000 mi²).
The area of this desert stretches from the south hillside of Alborz mountain range in the north-west to Dasht-e Lut (“Emptiness Desert”) in the south-east and is partitioned between the Iranian provinces of Khorasan, Semnan, Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd. It is named after the salt marshes (Kavir) located there.
Yardangs-IranThe Dasht-e Kavir’s climate is almost rainless and the area is very arid.Temperatures can reach 50 °C in summer, and the average temperature in January is 22 °C. Day and night temperatures during a year can differ up to 70 °C. Rain usually falls in winter. Among the driest places on the planet, it receives an average of only 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) of rain a year. Certain areas of the desert reportedly receive no rain. Extremely barren, the desert contains the only region free from any life, including the existence of bacteria, on Earth!
A yardang (Kalout) is a topographical feature that has been carved out of a surface by the wind. The word is derived from the Turkic word yar, which means ridge or steep bank. On Earth they are most commonly found in deserts where there is a sand supply, which abrades the surface when moved by the wind, and soft sedimentary rocks that the sand easily erodes. Over time, the sand wears down the surface into beautiful streamlined shapes that are aligned with the prevailing sand-moving winds.
Kalout-IranIran is famous for mega yardangs in Shahdad, Kerman, where thousands of tourists visit every year. In the western part of Dasht-e Lut lie some of the world’s most prominent yardangs. Rising up to 282 feet (80 meters), these streamlined ridges have been carved by the wind out of the silty clay and sand lining the desert floor. Lying parallel to the prevailing north-north-west winds, the yardangs are separated by troughs measuring 330 feet (100 meters) or more. The crests or summits of the largest of these yardangs are rounded or flat; all others are narrow.