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Photo-iss012e18779
International Space Station Imagery
Winter in the Dasht-e-Lut Desert, eastern Iran as photographed by an Expedition 12 crew member on the ISS. The patchy, elongated, light-colored feature in the foreground (parallel to the mountain range) is the northernmost of the Dasht dry lakes.
high res (2.5 M) low res (100 K)
ISS012-E-18779 (28 Feb. 2006) --- Winter in the Dasht-e-Lut Desert, eastern Iran is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 12 crew member on the International Space Station. The image takes advantage of the low angle of illumination to reveal linear geological structures of the Iranian mountain range bordering the western edge of the basin known as Dasht-e-Lut. The range rises 1818 meters (6000 feet) above sea level and lies 750 kilometers (466 miles) north of the Persian Gulf. The convoluted appearance results from erosion of folded and faulted rocks softer rocks erode away quickly, leaving more resistant rock to form linear ridges perpendicular to the direction of compression. While not a major oil producing region like the Zagros Fold Belt to the southwest, the mountains of east-central Iran contain economically important deposits of copper and other metals. Little vegetation is visible from space in the arid interior basin of the Dasht-e-Lut. Iran is climatically part of the Afro-Asian belt of deserts that stretch from the Cape Verde islands off West Africa all the way to Mongolia near Beijing. The patchy, elongated, light-colored feature in the foreground (parallel to the mountain range) is the northernmost of the Dasht dry lakes that stretch southward 300 kilometers (186 miles). High country is the source of precipitation-derived water in all near-tropical deserts. Agricultural fields (small dark patches in the image) that depend on this precipitation are located down slope near the margin of the dry, salty soils of the lake.

Curator: JSC PAO Web Team | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 10/30/2012
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