Zagros Mountains, Iran
The Zagros Mountains in southwestern Iran present an impressive landscape of long, linear ridges and valleys. In the lower right corner of this 2000 Landsat 7 image stands a feature of the area—a white-topped salt dome called Kuh-e-Namak, or “mountain of salt” in Farsi. Thick layers of minerals, such as halite (common table salt), typically accumulate in closed basins during alternating wet and dry climatic conditions. Over time, the layers of salt are buried under younger layers of rock. The pressure from overlying rock layers causes the lower-density salt to flow upwards, bending the rock layers above and creating a domelike structure. Near the bottom of the image, the Mand River resembles a lavender ribbon as it winds around the base of Kuh-e-Namak. The city of Konari and several other towns and small villages nestle nearby on the valley floor.