The Lut Desert, or Dasht-e-Lut (In the Persian language ‘Lut’ refers to bare land without water and devoid of vegetation.), is located on the south- East of the country, in the provinces of Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan. It is the world’s 25th-largest desert, and on July 17, 2016, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List . Between June and October, this arid subtropical area is swept by strong winds, which transport sediment and cause aeolian erosion on a colossal scale; the result of which, is the spectacular examples of aeolian yardang landforms (massive corrugated ridges), site presents. Also containing extensive stony deserts and dune fields, Lut Desert represents an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes.
Iran is climatically part of the Afro-Asian belt of deserts, stretching from the Cape Verde islands off West Africa all the way to Mongolia near Beijing, China. Iran’s geography consists of a plateau surrounded by mountains and divided into drainage basins. Dasht-e Loot is one of the largest of these desert basins, 480 kilometers (300 mi) long and 320 kilometers (200 mi) wide, and is considered to be one of the driest places on Earth.
The area of Lut Desert is about 51,800 square kilometres (20,000 sq mi). During the spring wet season, water briefly flows down from the Kerman mountains, but it soon dries up, leaving behind only rocks, sand, and salt.The eastern part of Lut Desert is a low plateau covered with salt flats. In contrast, the center has been sculpted by the wind into a series of parallel ridges and furrows, extending over 150 km (93 mi) and reaching 75 metres (246 ft) in height. This area is also riddled with ravines and sinkholes. The southeast is a vast expanse of sand, like a Saharan erg, with dunes 300 metres (980 ft) high, among the tallest in the world.According to one study more than half of Lut Desert’s surface is covered by volcanic rocks; in which, evaporites can clearly be observed during hot periods.
Hottest Land Surface
According to NASA’s Aqua satellite the hottest land surface on Earth is located in Lut Desert; on which the land surface temperatures reach to 70.7 °C (159.3 °F), though the air temperature is cooler.
Lut Desert Condition
Lut Desert, situated in an interior basin and surrounded by mountains, is in a rain shadow and coupled with high temperatures; the climate of which is hyper-arid. Covered in about one third of its area by yardangs, bedrock features carved and streamlined by sandblasting, this property finds a landscape with ridges and corridors oriented parallel to the dominant prevailing wind; the massive and dramatic corrugations across the the ridges of which, are known as kaluts. In the Lut Desert some of these forms are up to 155 m high and their ridges can be followed for more than 40 km.
In some other parts the surface of desert is left quite like an extensive stony pavement, thanks to wind washing the hard-rocky parts out of soil (about 12% of the area); the result of which is an extensive, black stony desert covering the basaltic Gandom Beryan plateau in the northwest of the core zone. This stony deserts in eastern part of Desert Lut coverage, then gently slope away from the foot of neighbouring hills.Sands transported by wind and washed in by intermittent streams been accumulated in the south and east, where huge sand-seas have formed across 40% of Lut Desert. These areas consist of active dunes; the heights of some of which reaches 475 m and considered to be amongst the largest dunes of the world. Also dissolved minerals evaporated from incoming streams result in white efflorescence of crystals and evaporite crusts down river beds, in yardang corridors and in salt pans (playa).
Flora and Fauna
Lut Desert has been described in the past as a place of ‘no life’ and therefore the information on the biological resources of this area is limited. Nonetheless the property possesses flora and fauna adapted to the harsh conditions including an interesting adapted insect fauna.
The region’s evidence for habitation dates back to 7,000 years ago, though this has always occurred around the periphery of the area, because the aridity of the property rendered most of it uninhabitable.However, due to its remoteness from major populated centers and its harsh environmental conditions, including extreme heat and lack of water, much of the Lut Desert is inaccessible and therefore naturally protected. Apart from some small private landholdings in villages in the inscribed area and buffer zone of western Lut, the majority of the land within the Lut Desert is state-owned.
Within the property, only in western edge some settlements are there (including 28 villages, with the largest of them peopled over 700). In the buffer zone there are 15 villages and Shahdad town with a population of nearly 6,000.
Lut Desert means an ocean of beauty, tranquility, peace, passion and blessing; in which except for drowning nothing else remains for you. While exploring the beauties of this seemingly untouched land, bit by bit, you feel the hands of whom created these fantastic scenes. In more steps you take at the heart of this paradise piece, you even touch the presence of the creator. Here’s when you wish, if only this moment, this spot, and this passion never stopped…
A nice planner
A great trip equals a great plan; Let alone such a blessing trip (on Lut Desert), which maybe hardly be repeated ever and therefore should be kept as a rare opportunity never to be lost. So, at this phase and by such determination at your heart, don’t hesitate to call us.IRANHRC, a quite sophisticated Tour Operator, is always ready at your hand. Just let our team know your decision and plan to tailor the best packages for you, exactly aligned with your taste and interest.We are sure that once you try our itinerary, never will replace it by that of other agencies. Particularly about adventure and safari tours that we have a strong hand in.