“Salt’s Impact on Iran’s Landscape: A Look at the Slow Formation of Zagros Mountains”

Millions of years ago, the Persian Gulf was an immense body of water that covered vast areas including the Arabian peninsula and Iran. However, over time, this water began to recede and the beaches of the Gulf started to crumble. As a result, an enormous amount of salt was left behind in the area. In time, sediment from rocks and rainfall began to accumulate on these salt layers. Eventually, these sediments became so dense that they weighed down heavily on the salt layers below them. This process continued for many centuries, resulting in the gradual formation of thick sedimentary layers.

UNESCO has acknowledged that there are no other places in the world where cumulative salt domes can be found. Although it has not yet been officially designated as a World Heritage Site, this unique location is currently being evaluated for inclusion. The Zagros Mountains in the southern region alone boasts over 130 salt domes which have influenced the formation of one of the most significant simple folded systems worldwide. Beyond salt domes, the area features salt caves, including the world’s longest salt cave measuring over 6.4 km in the Namakdan Mountain, salt glaciers, salt valleys, karst sinkholes, and salt springs.


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