Damavand is a large dormant stratovolcano in the Alborz Mountains of northern Iran in Mazandaran Province. It is located 60 km to the ENE of Tehran. Tehran a megacity with more than 12 million populations. Damavand is the highest mountain (5670 m) in the Middle East and West Asia.
The region of Damavand Mountain
Mazandaran Province is one of the most populous provinces (over 2 million people) by population density. And is one of the wealthiest in Iran with diverse natural resources. The province’s four largest cities are Sari, Babol, Amol, and Qaemshahr. With populations of 490830, 464535, 343747, and 293721 respectively.
There are also large populations in Golestan and Semnan Provinces further east. Many people live in hundreds of small towns and villages. The regional economy relies heavily on agriculture (Rice, grain, fruits, cotton, tea, tobacco, sugarcane). With the highest farm fish production and famous caviar throughout Iran.
Millions of tourists visit the region every year. The region is vulnerable to tephra fall. As many as 50,000 people live on the flanks of the volcano in numerous villages and small towns and could be at high direct risk from the volcano.
The main highway connecting Tehran with the Caspian Sea passes down the Haraz valley on its southern flanks.
Damavand Mountain Volcano Details
There are no known historic eruptions. A seismic swarm was experienced by local people in 1979. But this has not been documented in any scientific literature. In 2007 mountain guides noticed that the summit fumaroles had become more active. And, together with a magnitude 2.9 earthquake in January 2007 close to the volcano, there is increasing interest and concern among Iranian geoscientists.
Geology of Damavand Mountain
There is, no detailed or reliable geological map. The youngest known eruption is a lava flow on the western flanks with an age of 7.3 ka. Also, it is confirmed that the largest volcanic products are remarkably uniform in composition and petrology.
The tectonic setting of Damavand is puzzling. It is located in a young and very active zone of compression and strike-slip faulting. Deep thrust faults border the mountain range with large strike-slip faults towards the centre and south. Volcanoes located in regions of compressional thrust faulting are uncommon, although there are some rare examples.
Damavand Mountain as a Tourist Attraction
Damavand mountain is one the tourist attractions in Iran. It attracts many mountaineers rock climbers skiers and nature enthusiasts from all over the world manually.