Garmsar on the edge of Iran’s largest desert

One of the main highlights of Iran in terms of nature can be its deserts. As Iranian deserts were part of the “Silk Road” there are many historical monuments and sites left from that era worth paying a visit.

Garmsar is located about 95 kilometres (59 mi) southeast of Tehran. It lies on the edge of Dasht-e-Kavir, Iran’s largest desert. Dasht-e Kavir ( ‘Low Plains’ in classical Persian), and dasht (plain), flatland), also known as Kavir-e Namak (‘salty lowlands’) and the Great Salt Desert, which is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian plateau.

The Hablehrood river originating from Dalichai-Firouzkooh flows to the plateau of Garmsar. Its water is extensively used for agriculture. Since salt water mixes with Hablehrood before its arrival to the city, the water is not fit for drinking. Hablehrood is the only permanent river in Semnan province. Thanks to the water provided by Hablehrood, people in Garmsar grow wheat, barley, cotton and yellow melon. Garmsar is known across Iran for its sweet and crispy yellow melons.

The many river branches and the irrigated fields provide recharge to the aquifer. Since ancient times, groundwater in the Garmsar area has been exploited by ghanats and shallow wells, mainly for irrigation of agricultural land, but also for household purposes. In the last decades, the number of deep-wells has increased sharply and the ghanats have fallen dry.

Yet, at the fringes of the fan, problems of waterlogging occur owing to irrigation losses higher up that are transported through the acquifer to the lower lying areas causing shallow watertables, while the evaporation from the shallow watertable brings salts into the rootzone which henceforth is salinizing. As a result, the agriculture in the fringes suffers low yields or is impossible.

UniMedia Pro in collaboration with PEXMART exploring the less spoken wonders of the modern world with particular of focus on IRAN.

 

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