The Zagros Mountains (Persian: کوههای زاگرس; Kurdish: چیاکانی زاگرۆس; Lurish: کۆیَل زاگروس) are a long mountain range in Iran, Kurdistan and southeastern Turkey. This mountain range has a total length of 1,600 km (990 mi). The Zagros mountain range begins in northwestern Iran and roughly follows Iran's western border, while covering much of southeastern Turkey and northeastern Iraq. From this border region, the range roughly follows Iran's coast on the Persian Gulf. It spans the whole length of the western and southwestern Iranian plateau, ending at the Strait of Hormuz. The highest point is Mount Dena, at 4,409 metres (14,465 ft).
Dena, highest point in the Zagros Mountains
|Elevation||4,409 m (14,465 ft)|
|Length||1,600 km (990 mi)|
|Width||240 km (150 mi)|
The Zagros fold and thrust belt in green, with the Zagros Mountains to the right
|Location||Iran, Iraq and Turkey|
Middle East or Western Asia
|Age of rock||Carboniferous|
|Mountain type||Fold and thrust belt|
The Zagros fold and thrust belt was formed by the collision of two tectonic plates, the Eurasian Plate and the Arabian Plate. This collision primarily happened during the Miocene and folded the entirety of the rocks that had been deposited from the Carboniferous to the Miocene in the geosyncline in front of the Iranian Plate. The process of collision continues to the present, and as the Arabian Plate is being pushed against the Eurasian Plate, the Zagros Mountains and the Iranian Plateau are getting higher and higher. Recent GPS measurements in Iran have shown that this collision is still active and the resulting deformation is distributed non-uniformly in the country, mainly taken up in the major mountain belts like Alborz and Zagros. A relatively dense GPS network which covered the Iranian Zagros also proves a high rate of deformation within the Zagros. The GPS results show that the current rate of shortening in the southeast Zagros is ~10 mm/a (0.39 in/year), dropping to ~5 mm/a (0.20 in/year) in the northwest Zagros. The north-south Kazerun strike-slip fault divides the Zagros into two distinct zones of deformation. The GPS results also show different shortening directions along the belt, normal shortening in the southeast, and oblique shortening in the northwest Zagros. The Zagros mountains were created around the time of the second ice age, which caused the tectonic collision, leading to its uniqueness.
The sedimentary cover in the SE Zagros is deforming above a layer of rock salt (acting as a ductile decollement with a low basal friction), whereas in the NW Zagros the salt layer is missing or is very thin. This different basal friction is partly responsible for the different topographies on either side of the Kazerun fault. Higher topography and narrower zone of deformation in the NW Zagros is observed whereas in the SE, deformation was spread more and a wider zone of deformation with lower topography was formed. Stresses induced in the Earth's crust by the collision caused extensive folding of the preexisting layered sedimentary rocks. Subsequent erosion removed softer rocks, such as mudstone (rock formed by consolidated mud) and siltstone (a slightly coarser-grained mudstone) while leaving harder rocks, such as limestone (calcium-rich rock consisting of the remains of marine organisms) and dolomite (rocks similar to limestone containing calcium and magnesium). This differential erosion formed the linear ridges of the Zagros Mountains. The depositional environment and tectonic history of the rocks were conducive to the formation and trapping of petroleum, and the Zagros region is an important area for oil production. Salt domes and salt glaciers are a common feature of the Zagros Mountains. Salt domes are an important target for petroleum exploration, as the impermeable salt frequently traps petroleum beneath other rock layers. There is also much water-soluble gypsum in the region.
The mountains are completely of sedimentary origin and are made primarily of limestone. In the Elevated Zagros or the Higher Zagros, the Paleozoic rocks could be found mainly in the upper and higher sections of the peaks of the Zagros Mountains, along the Zagros main fault. On both sides of this fault, there are Mesozoic rocks, a combination of Triassic and Jurassic rocks that are surrounded by Cretaceous rocks on both sides. The Folded Zagros (the mountains south of the Elevated Zagros and almost parallel to the main Zagros fault) is formed mainly of Tertiary rocks, with the Paleogene rocks south of the Cretaceous rocks and then the Neogene rocks south of the Paleogene rocks. The mountains are divided into many parallel sub-ranges (up to 10 or 250 km (6.2 or 155.3 mi) wide), and orogenically have the same age as the Alps. Iran's main oilfields lie in the western central foothills of the Zagros mountain range. The southern ranges of the Fars Province have somewhat lower summits, reaching 4,000 metres (2.5 miles). They contain some limestone rocks showing abundant marine fossils.
Signs of early agriculture date back as far as 9000 BC in the foothills of the mountains. Some settlements later grew into cities, eventually named Anshan and Susa; Jarmo is one archaeological site in this area. Shanidar, where the ancient skeletal remains of Neanderthals have been found, is another. Some of the earliest evidence of wine production has been discovered in the mountains; both the settlements of Hajji Firuz Tepe and Godin Tepe have given evidence of wine storage dating between 3500 and 5400 BC.
During early ancient times, the Zagros was the home of peoples such as the Kassites, Guti, Elamites and Mitanni, who periodically invaded the Sumerian and/or Akkadian cities of Mesopotamia. The mountains create a geographic barrier between the Mesopotamian Plain, which is in Iraq, and the Iranian Plateau. A small archive of clay tablets detailing the complex interactions of these groups in the early second millennium BC has been found at Tell Shemshara along the Little Zab. Tell Bazmusian, near Shemshara, was occupied between 5000 BCE and 800 CE, although not continuously.
The mountains contain several ecosystems. Prominent among them are the forest and forest steppe areas with a semi-arid climate. As defined by the World Wildlife Fund and used in their Wildfinder, the particular terrestrial ecoregion of the mid to high mountain area is Zagros Mountains forest steppe (PA0446). The annual precipitation ranges from 400–800 mm (16–31 in) and falls mostly in winter and spring. Winters are severe, with low temperatures often below −25 °C (−13 °F). The region exemplifies the continental variation of the Mediterranean climate pattern, with a snowy winter and mild, rainy spring, followed by a dry summer and autumn.
The mountains of the East-Zagros, the Kuh-i-Jupar (4,135 m (13,566 ft)), Kuh-i-Lalezar (4,374 m (14,350 ft)) and Kuh-i-Hezar (4,469 m (14,662 ft)) do not currently have glaciers. Only at Zard Kuh and Dena some glaciers still survive. However, before the Last Glacial Period they had been glaciated to a depth in excess of 1,900 metres (1.2 miles), and during the Last Glacial Period to a depth in excess of 2,160 metres (7,090 feet). Evidence exists of a 20 km (12 mi) wide glacier fed along a 17 km (11 mi) long valley dropping approximately 1,600 m (5,200 ft) along its length on the north side of Kuh-i-Jupar with a thickness of 350–550 m (1,150–1,800 ft). Under conditions of precipitation comparable to current climatic record-keeping, this size of glacier could be expected to form where the annual average temperature was between 10.5 and 11.2 °C (50.9 and 52.2 °F), but since conditions are expected to have been dryer during the period in which this glacier was formed, the temperature must have been lower.
Although currently degraded through overgrazing and deforestation, the Zagros region is home to a rich and complex flora. Remnants of the originally widespread oak-dominated woodland can still be found, as can the park-like pistachio/almond steppelands. The ancestors of many familiar foods, including wheat, barley, lentil, almond, walnut, pistachio, apricot, plum, pomegranate and grape can be found growing wild throughout the mountains. Persian oak (Quercus brantii) (covering more than 50% of the Zagros forest area) is the most important tree species of the Zagros in Iran.
Other floral endemics found within the mountain range include: Allium iranicum, Astragalus crenophila, Bellevalia kurdistanica, Cousinia carduchorum, Cousinia odontolepis, Echinops rectangularis, Erysimum boissieri, Iris barnumae, Ornithogalum iraqense, Scrophularia atroglandulosa, Scorzonera kurdistanica, Tragopogon rechingeri, and Tulipa kurdica.
The Zagros are home to many threatened or endangered organisms, including the Zagros Mountains mouse-like hamster (Calomyscus bailwardi), the Basra reed-warbler (Acrocephalus griseldis) and the striped hyena (Hyena hyena). Luristan newt (Neurergus kaiseri) - vulnerable endemic to the central Zagros mountains of Iran. The Persian fallow deer (Dama dama mesopotamica), an ancient domesticate once thought extinct, was rediscovered in the late 20th century in Khuzestan Province, in the southern Zagros.
Dena (in Persian and Luri: دنا) is the name for a sub-range within the Zagros Mountains. Mount Dena, with 80 km length and 15 km average width, is situated on the boundary of the Isfahan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Provinces of Iran.Mount Dena has more than 40 peaks higher than 4000 metres. With an elevation of 4,409 metres above sea level, Qash-Mastan is the highest peak in the Dena Range and in the Zagros Mountains in general. Another famous peak in this range is Hose-Daal close to the city of Sisakht, 30 km to the north of Yasuj.
Annual precipitation in Mount Dena ranges from 600 to 1800 mm and various rivers including a branch of the Karun rise in this range.
Geologically, Mount Dena is located in the Sanandaj-Sirjan geologic and structural zone of Iran and is mainly made of Cretaceous limestone.On 18 February 2018, Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 crashed into Mount Dena, killing all 65 people on board.Diyala River
The Diyala River, is a river and tributary of the Tigris. It is formed by the confluence of Sirwan river and Tanjero river in Darbandikhan Dam in the Sulaymaniyah Governorate of Northern Iraq. It covers a total distance of 445 km (277 mi).Gadar River
The Gadar River rises in the Iranian Zagros Mountains near the point where the borders of Iran, Turkey and Iraq meet. From its source, the river first flows towards the southeast and then changes course due east through the Ushnu-Solduz valley. After leaving the valley, the river turns north and flows into marshes bordering Lake Urmia. The length of the river is approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi), its drainage basin is variously estimated as 1,900 square kilometres (730 sq mi) and 2,123 square kilometres (820 sq mi) and its discharge is 0.34 cubic metres (12 cu ft) per second. The Ushnu-Solduz valley has been occupied since many millennia, as testified by the excavations at sites like Hasanlu Tepe and Hajji Firuz Tepe.Hamrin Mountains
The Hamrin Mountains (Arabic: جبل حمرين Jabāl Hamrīn, Kurdish:چیای حەمرین Çiyayê Hemrîn or Çiyayên Hemrîn) are a small mountain ridge in northeast Iraq. The westernmost ripple of the greater Zagros mountains, the Hamrin mountains extend from the Diyala Province bordering Iran, northwest to the Tigris river, crossing northern Salah ad Din Province and southern Kirkuk Province.
In antiquity, the mountains were part of the frontier region between Babylonia to the south and Assyria to the north. Today, the area forms part of the linguistic boundary between most of Arab people of Iraq and Kurdish people of Iraq in the north.Iranian Plate
The Iranian Plate is thought to underlie Iran and Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and Iraq.
It is compressed between the Arabian Plate to the south and the Eurasian Plate to the north. This compression is likely a cause for the very mountainous terrain of the area including the Zagros Mountains.Karun
The Kārūn (Persian: کارون, IPA: [kɒːˈɾuːn]) is Iran's most effluent and only navigable river. It is 950 km (590 mi) long. It rises in the Zard Kuh mountains of the Bakhtiari district in the Zagros Range, receiving many tributaries, such as the Dez and the Kuhrang, before passing through the capital of the Khuzestan Province of Iran, the city of Ahvaz before emptying to its mouth into Arvand Rud (Shatt al-Arab).
The Karun continues toward the Persian Gulf, forking into two primary branches on its delta - the Bahmanshir and the Haffar - that join Arvand Roud, emptying into the Persian Gulf. The important Island of Abadan is located between these two branches of the Karun. The port city of Khorramshahr is divided from the Island of Abadan by the Haffar branch.
Juris Zarins and other scholars have identified the Karun as one of the four rivers of Eden, the others being the Tigris, the Euphrates, and either the Wadi Al-Batin or the Karkheh.Leylan River
The Laylan River is a endorheic river in western Iran.
It originates in the Zagros Mountains within Mahabad County of West Azerbaijan Province, and flows into the endorheic Lake Urmia in East Azerbaijan Province.List of Ultras of West Asia
This is a list of all 102 of the ultra-prominent peaks (with topographic prominence greater than 1,500 metres) in West Asia. It includes peaks on the islands of Cyprus and Socotra. It also includes the 10 ultras of the Caucasus (also listed under Europe) as they are geographically more connected to the mountains of West Asia. Two of these peaks (Mount Aragats and Kapudzhukh Lerr) are on the Asian side of the ridge of the Greater Caucasus, which forms the usual boundary between Europe and Asia, and four more are on the border itself and so in both Europe and Asia.List of mountains in Iran
This is a list of mountains in the country of Iran.
By clicking on the symbols at the head of the table the individual columns may be sorted.Lorestan Province
Lorestan Province (Persian: استان لرستان, also written Luristan, Lurestan, or Loristan), is a province of western Iran in the Zagros Mountains. The population of Lorestan was estimated at 1,716,527 people in 2006. In 2014 it was placed in Region 4.Lorestan covers an area of 28,392 km2. The major cities in this province are Khorramabad, Borujerd, Dorud, Aligudarz, Kuhdasht, Azna, Aleshtar, Nurabad, and Pol-e Dokhtar.Qizil Üzan
Qizil Üzan (Persian: قزل اوزن / Qezel Owzan, from Azerbaijani Turkish "qızıl üzən" meaning "floating gold") is a river flowing in northwestern and northern Iran.
It flows through Kurdistan Province, Zanjan Province, East Azerbaijan Province, Ardabil Province, and Gilan Province.
It is one of two tributaries forming the Sefīd-Rūd river, with the Shahrood. The Sefīd-Rūd is a major river and tributary of the Caspian Sea.Road 41 (Iran)
Road 41 is a road in Khuzestan Province of coastal southwestern Iran.Road 46 (Iran)
Road 46 is a road across the Zagros Mountains, located in Hamadan Province and Kurdistan Province of western IranShahar River
The Shahar River, also known as Shahar Chay (City River) or Barde Sur (Azerbaijani: Shahar-cay) is a river in the Zagros Mountains of northwestern Iran.The river rises in the Zagros Mountains region along the Iran-Turkey bourder. It flows in an easterly direction through the city of Urmia and empties into lake Urmia on its western shore, near Keshtiban.
The river is impounded by Shaharchay Dam, located near Silvaneh and Rajan, Iran.Yafteh
Yafteh is an Upper Paleolithic cave located at the foot of Yafteh Mountain in the Zagros Mountains range, located northwest of Khoramabad in western Zagros, Lorestan Province of western Iran.Zagros Mountains mouse-like hamster
The Zagros Mountains mouse-like hamster (Calomyscus bailwardi) is a relatively little-known rodent which was the first species of mouse-like hamster to be described. The species is distributed throughout much of southern Iran, particularly in the Zagros mountains. It is also known as the Iranian mouse-like hamster, though there are several species of mouse-like hamster found in different parts of Iran.
This is the largest species of mouse-like hamster. They are dark grey on top and white underneath. They are found in habitat ranging from barren rocky hillsides to wetter regions. They are known to feed on herbs and grass seed.
Graphodatsky et al. (2000) recovered three distinct karyotypes from different regions throughout the range of C. bailwardi (2n=37, FNa=44; 2n=52, FNa=56; 2n=50, FNa=50). This may suggest that further taxonomic revision is required. Vorontsov et al. (1979) emphasized how little is known about the species and that the current definition is based largely on distribution.
Many sources still refer to all members of Calomyscus as part of the species Calomyscus bailwardi.Zarrineh River
The Zarrineh River (Persian: زرّینهرود, lit. 'golden river' Zarrineh-Rud, Zarriné-Rūd, Zarrinehrood) is a river in Kurdistan Province and West Azarbaijan Province, Iran.It is 302 km long, arising in the Zagros Mountains of Kurdistan Province south of Saqqez, where it is also known as the Jaqatoo River (Jaghatu Chay).
It's real name is Jegatoo, a well known name among local residences over centuries. But by changing government in Pahlavi age most Turkish names omitted and turned to Persian.Zayanderud
Zāyandé-Rūd or Pāyanderūd (Persian: Zāyanderud, from زاینده [zɑːjændɛ] "life giver" and رود [rʊːd] "river"), also spelled as Zayandeh-Rood or Zayanderood, is the largest river of the Iranian Plateau in central Iran.Zrebar Lake
Lake Zrebar , also known as Zeribar or Zrewar (Kurdish: Zrêbar or Zrêwar, زرێبار), (Persian: زریوار Zarivār), is a lake in the Zagros Mountains, within Kurdistan Province of western Iran.
|Climate data for Amadiya District, Iraq|
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−8.0
|Hindu Kush Mountains|
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