Friday, 18 March 2016

Namak Lake of Iran

Namak Lake also called Salt Lake is located about 100 km east of the City of Qom in Iran at an elevation of 2,590 feet above sea level. The Namak Lake has a dry surface only water covers out of about 1800 km² area. The lake depth is only between 45 centimeters to 1 meter and major source of water supply is river Qom. The Namak Lake is actually a remainder of the Paratethys Sea, which underway to dry from the Pleistocene epoch, leaving Lake Urmia and the Caspian Sea and other bodies of water. The climate condition is semi-arid and arid, and more moderate in nearby mountains. Therefore, the mean annual temperature is 13.5 ºC, with mean minima averaging -6 ºC and mean maxima averaging 35 ºC.

Moreover Namak Lake holds 240 million metric tons of minerals and it is believed, that Iran’s Namak Lake contains rich lithium deposit, extracting 40 grams of lithium per ton is considered as economically justified worldwide. Moreover, massive volume of sodium sulfate deposit, 144 million tons has discovered in the lake. Therefore, three minerals, namely Magnesia, Halite, and Sylvite have been identified so far in the lake, with estimated reserves of 32 million tons, 200 million tons, and 4.5 million tons, respectively these minerals are used in the agriculture, steel, and aluminum industries.

Namak Lake is accessible by sandy road and bit far from civilization and city. This place is specific for its minimal light smog and it is grotesque to watch stars here and even perspective photographs or skateboarding on silk salty surface is possible. The surrounding area of Lake is semi desert mainly rock with sand. Moreover vegetation cover is sparse, and foothills and wide valleys are characterized by forest steppe. Hence, higher areas well covered with snow in winter along with some permanent ice fields and alpine vegetation. The main fishes comprise of three families Balitoridae, Cyprinidae, and Salmonidae. Thus, native populations of trout (Salmo trutta) occur in the basin and some basins and other water bodies have been stocked with exotics, or exotic species have been acquainting with fortuitously. This ecoregion contains a high degree of endemism in a species-poor endorheic basin.