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Earth As Art: Golden Curves in the Sand

The curving sands of Iran's Great Salt Desert are high in salt content
The curving sands in central northern Iran (Image credit: European Space Imaging (EUSI))

These stunning golden curves look as if they've been made with a paintbrush, but they are in fact part of Iran's salt desert, Dasht-e Kavir, also know as the Great Salt Desert.

High summer evaporation in the region means that the desert's clays and sands have a high salt content, making them an important source of minerals. Shallow lakes, mudflats, and salt marshes are also found here, with crusts of salt helping to hold in the little moisture they contain.

The image of the sand curves was taken by the European Space Agency's Ikonos-2 satellite on Nov. 13, 2008. Satellites are useful in finding an identifying mineral resources and the large-scale structures that may be related to them but can be missed by grounds surveys, according to an ESA statement.

Biosphere reserves, natural parks and wildlife refuges are found near this region.

Live Science Staff
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