Dasht-e Lut

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Dasht-e Lut
Sand castles - Dasht-e Lut desert - Kerman.JPG
sand castles in the Dasht-e Lut near Kerman, Iran
Dasht-e Lut is located in Iran
Dasht-e Lut
Dasht-e Lut
Location within Iran
Length480 km (300 mi)
Width320 km (200 mi)
Area51,800 km2 (20,000 sq mi)
Coordinates30°36′18″N 59°04′04″E / 30.60500001°N 59.0677777878°E / 30.60500001; 59.0677777878Coordinates: 30°36′18″N 59°04′04″E / 30.60500001°N 59.0677777878°E / 30.60500001; 59.0677777878
Official nameLut Desert
Criteriavii, viii
Inscription2016 (40th Session)

The Lut Desert, widely referred to as Dasht-e Lut (Persian: دشت لوت‎, "Emptiness Plain"), is a large salt desert located in the provinces of Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran. It is the world's 34th-largest desert, and was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List on July 17, 2016.[1] The name is driven from 'Lut' which means bare and empty in persian[2][3] [4] and 'dasht' which means plain in Persian.[5][6] The surface of its sand has been measured at temperatures as high as 70 °C (159 °F),[7][8] making it one of the world's driest and hottest places.


Iran is climatically part of the Afro-Asian belt of deserts, which stretches from Mauritania all the way to Mongolia. 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 (190 mi).[clarification needed]

Iran's geography consists of a plateau surrounded by mountains and divided into drainage basins. Dasht-e Lut is one of the largest of these desert basins, 480 kilometers (300 mi) long and 320 kilometers (200 mi) wide,[9] and is considered to be one of the driest places on Earth.[10][11][12]

The area of the desert is about 51,800 square kilometres (20,000 sq mi),[13] the largest in Iran except for the Dasht-e Kavir. 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 Dasht-e Lut 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.[9] 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.[9]


According to one study, more than half of the desert's surface is covered by volcanic rocks. Evaporites can be observed during hot periods.[citation needed]

Hottest land surface[edit]

Namak-Zar region of Dasht-e-Lut, from space

The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer installed on NASA's Aqua satellite recorded that from 2003 to 2010 the hottest land surface on Earth is in Dasht-e Lut, with land surface temperatures reaching 70.7 °C (159.3 °F), though the air temperature is cooler.[10][11][12][14][15] The precision of measurements is 0.5 K to 1 K.[16][17]

The hottest part of Dasht-e Lut is Gandom Beryan, a large plateau covered in dark lava, approximately 480 square kilometres (190 sq mi) in area.[18] According to a local legend, the name (Persian — "Toasted wheat")[clarification needed] originates from an accident where a load of wheat was left in the desert which was then scorched by the heat in a few days.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Lut Desert". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ https://abadis.ir/fatofa/%DA%A9%D9%88%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D9%84%D9%88%D8%AA/
  6. ^ https://abadis.ir/fatofa/%D9%84%D9%88%D8%AA/
  7. ^ Mildrexler, D.; M. Zhao; S. W. Running (October 2006). "Where Are the Hottest Spots on Earth?". EOS. 87 (43): 461, 467. doi:10.1002/eost.v87.43.
  8. ^ Mildrexler, D.; M. Zhao; S. W. Running (2011). "Satellite Finds Highest Land Skin Temperatures on Earth". Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. 92 (7): 850–860. doi:10.1175/2011BAMS3067.1.
  9. ^ a b c editors, Richard L. Scheffel, Susan J. Wernert ; writers, Oliver E. Allen ...; et al. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-89577-087-5.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  10. ^ a b Satellites seek global hot spots / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com
  11. ^ a b Temperature of Earth
  12. ^ a b Images of the Day - Images - redOrbit
  13. ^ Wright, John W., ed. (2006). The New York Times Almanac (2007 ed.). New York, New York: Penguin Books. p. 456. ISBN 978-0-14-303820-7.
  14. ^ The Hottest Spot on Earth : Image of the Day
  15. ^ Weather Iran Archived 2004-12-13 at the Wayback Machine (in Persian)
  16. ^ MOD 11 - Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity, MODIS Website
  17. ^ Zhengming Wan (April 1999) MODIS Land-Surface Temperature Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (LST ATBD) Version 3.3
  18. ^ A Journey To Earth's Hottest Point

External links[edit]