Iran Highest Mountain and Highest Volcano of The Middle-East

Mount Damavand or (Kooh-e-Damavand in Persian) is an extinct volcanic peak of the Alborz Mountain ranges in northern part of Iran, Damavand summit is about 70 km northeast of Tehran and 70 km south of the Caspian Sea. Damavand volcano is a majestic stratovolcano that built up of alternate layers of lava and ash more than 600,000 years ago. Damavand height estimates from 18,400 feet (5,610 m) to 18,600 feet (5,670 m) and it is the highest peak of Iran and Middle-East. Mount Damavand annually hosts thousands of hikers and climbers from Iran and others countries who want to reach the highest volcano of Asia (read more in “Highest Single and Cone Volcano of Asia“). That’s how Mount Damavand is one of the attractive and charming summits for hikers, mountain trekkers, skiers and also Air-Sports like paragliders and etc.

Also, Damavand due to its geographical location and its high elevation has created unique natural and environmental areas like Lar National Park.

Damavand summit surrounded by many 3000 and 4000 meters summits of central Alborz Mountain Range. This summits (like Do Berar range) are very accessible and suitable for acclimatization to climb Damavand. Also, they are one of the best slopes of Iran for Ski-touring (ski mountaineering), Backcountry skiing (Off-Piste skiing) and Free Ride Skiing.

Nobody doesn’t know the exact meaning of Damavand word, but it is written in Persian dictionaries that, Damavand got from two separate word, “Dam” that means Smoke or Cloud, and “Avand” that means Magical place. So the meaning of Damavand is a magical place that always covered by Smoke (maybe sulfuric gas) or clouds.

Geology of Mount Damavand

Mount Damavand that today is considered a semi-extinguishing volcano, has a long geological history. The earliest eruptions of Damavand volcano (with more than 400 km3 of trachyandesite lavas and pyroclastic material) began at ca. 1.8 million years ago. This may not have been an extensive eruptive period, or there may have been a long period of dormancy that allowed the erosion of erupted material to occur. At ca. 1.1–0.8 million years ago, a large trachyandesite volcano, broadly similar to the modern cone, existed.

A relatively large-scale pyroclastic eruption occurred at ca. 178,000 years ago, and the corresponding fallout deposits overlie many of the older lava flows. Younger flows (younger than 100,000 years ago) are clearly associated with the morphology of the present cone. The radially disposed of young flows are concentrated on the steep western flanks, perhaps obstructed to the east by the vestiges of the old cone that still presented a topographic barrier. The most recent eruptive episode dated occurred at 7300 years B.P., forming small, morphologically young (unglaciated and unvegetated) flows on the western flanks of the current cone.

  • How High Is Mount Damavand?

There is a difference between the exact height of Damavand Peak between experts and even climbers. Damavand height estimation from 18,400 feet (5,610 m) to 18,600 feet (5,671 m). NASA’s SRTM and ASTER data are both consistent with the official 5610 meters (We did not find a source for this yet!), but you can see that in most of the websites the elevation of Mount Damavand recorded 5671 meters. It seems that the 5671 m measured by mountaineers and has no strong sources.

However, we have no choice but to refer to the official sources. In September 2007, researchers of the Mapping Organization of Iran, during a multi-month study, completed the Damavand elevation points, measured the height of Damavand Peak, which was previously mentioned in books and geographic resources of 5671 meters, 5609 meters and 20 centimeters. The studies of this project were carried out in a profile with five stations in 2000 meters to 5,600 meters. Finally, with a difference of 61 meters and 80 cm, the height of the Damavand peaks of 5, 609 and 20 cm was measured. At all stations in the Damavand Peak, they conducted at least 12 hours of continuous GPS measurement, which can be achieved using the permanent GPS station of the same area with a precision of one centimeter.

So today, we must consider the official height of Damavand Peak at 5610 meters. Although modern and up-to-date GPS shows us a higher altitude. But we still have to wait for more accurate comments from the official authorities to measure the height of the summit.

Mount Damavand is the 12th most prominent peak in the world, and the second most prominent in Asia after Mount Everest. It is the highest volcanic mountain in Asia, and part of the Volcanic Seven Summits mountaineering challenge.

 

 

  • The Sulfuric Band or Sulfuric Area in Mount Damavand

As it was said, Damavand is a semi-silent volcanic mountain. On the other hand, Damavand can be said Potentially Active volcano, because it has many powerful fumarolic sulfur vent near the summit in about 5400 m and upper, also Hot Springs around this mountain. Most of this vents which emitted SO2-rich gases at a temperature of about 50°C, are in the southern flank, but because of the wind, they turn around the summit and make difficult conditions for climbers. This pressure becomes more perceptible when you imagine that you are at an altitude of 5500 meters with a lack of oxygen and you should breathe Sulfuric air to continue climbing Damavand summit. Fortunately, this is not a permanent situation, and most of the time, with the prevailing wind blowing from the west, sulfur gases go to the northeast. Otherwise, and when sulfur dioxide is surrounded by peaks, our experienced guides know how to bypass the gas source and bring you easily to the summit.

Most of the time during year, even in winter, there is not too much snow because of the heat of the sulfuric band around Damavand summit.

  • Damavand Icefall

Perhaps one of the most interesting and most famous features of Mt. Damavand is it Icefall that frozen whole the year. This amazing Icefall that placed on South Flank, is in the 5100 m altitude and can be seen from the Polour village or Haraz road in clear weather. The length of Icefall, depends on weather conditions, changes every years and is between 8 to 16 meters. To arrive and visit this icefall, you must turn right and exit the main route (200 meters) in height of about 5000 meters along the southern route of Damavand Peak.

Though some had ice climbing on Damavand Icefall, but because of its high and unstable ice, we do not recommend this to you.

5/24/2018 4:56:36 AM
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