South Caspian Lowland

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

South Caspian Lowland


a low-lying region along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran. The lowland measures 525 km in length and 2–6 km in width, broadening to 40 km at the deltas of the Safid and other rivers. Spits, beach barriers, and swamplands are found along the coast. Farther from the sea a plain slopes gently up to the foothills of the Elburz Mountains.

The region has a subtropical climate with more than 1,000 mm of precipitation a year. It has forest sectors of oak, hornbeam, and alder with a lush undergrowth of hawthorn and the cherry plum Prunus divaricata. Lianas also occur. In the river deltas, lagoons, and swamps there are cane and reed thickets and wintering sites for waterfowl.

The lowland has deposits of petroleum, fuel gas, and hard coal. An important agricultural region, it produces rice, tea, cotton, grains, and fruit, including grapes and citrus fruits. The Caspian coast within the lowland is called the Persian Riviera. The most important cities are Rasht, Sari, and Enzeli.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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There is sufficient rain and snowfall in these areas to feed several major river systems, which in turn sustain several impressive wetlands, including the lakes of the Rift Valley in the Levant and Jordan, the vast marshes of the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, the wetlands of the Orumiyeh Basin, South Caspian lowlands, Khuzestan and central Fars in Iran, and the wetlands of the Seistan Basin on the Iran/Afghanistan border.
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