Hamak-e-Sirtan Desert, Iran June 1998
The highly reflective dry lakebed (center of image) is part of the Namak-e-Sirtan Desert that is located in south central Iran. The southern end of the dry lakebed is flanked by rugged mountains where peaks exceed 8900 feet (2710 meters) in elevation. This arid valley only receives an average of 7 inches (180 mm) of precipitation annually. East of the dry lake the mottled-looking (alternating dark and light) landscape shows a limited area where dry land agriculture is possible. Towards the center of the agricultural activity Sirjan, a special economic free trade zone, is developing. The Sirjan area provides a natural overland corridor in the province of Kerman where ground transportation of commercial goods from the Persian Gulf can be distributed throughout Iran, as well as other countries of Asia.