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Photos: Gavkhouni Salt Marsh in Central Iran

Photos by ISNA

Located in central Iran, east of city of Esfahan, Gavkhouni is the terminal basin of the Zayandeh Rud (Zayandeh River). Gavkhouni is a salt marsh with a salinity of 315% and an average depth of about 1 meter. The salt marsh can dry up during the summer season. The Zayandeh River originates in the Zagros mountains and travels around 300km, before terminating in Gavkhouni.

Gavkhouni receives pollution from Esfahan and other urban sources. Esfahan is a major oasis city on the Zayandeh River with a population over 1.5 million. The marshes were designated a Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance) in 1975.

In recent years Zayandeh Rud has been suffering from severe water shortage, causing the river to dry up during summers. As a result, Gavkhouni is being deprived of water as well, and this wetland of international importance is turning into a barren land.

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