Nature of Qom

The province of Qom lies on the western edge of the vast desert of Dashte_Kavir, and so offers unique opportunities to those who take great interest in the study of desert flora and fauna. The province has two rivers of considerable significance, namely Gharachai and Qomrood, both of which reach the province through the Markazi province. The so-called Daryacheh_Namak (Salt Lake), 62 km east of Qom city, is a salty wasteland that is nonetheless a very fascinating natural phenomenon. It is in fact a salty and muddy bed of a lake, most of the year, and is only covered by some water in winter. The rest of the year water does not remain there because of the rapid rate of evaporation. This lake covers an area of 2000 km2. Lake Howz_e_Soltan lies 35 km to the north of Qom city and 90 km south of the city of Tehran. It is in fact a combination of two lakes connected by a channel. This lake, which lies at an altitude of 800 m above sea level, is the basin into which water from a number of permanent rivers and creeks, pours. Out of the rainy season the water level drops and the lake shrinks because of shortage of water pouring into it and the high level of evaporation. Mount Palangabi, 3,154 m high, and Mount Laarha, 3,109 m, are the major highlands of Qom province. Qom has limited natural features of any consequence, except for the nearby desert which is one of the vastest deserts of Iran. Naturally, this desert has great effect on the climatic conditions of the neighboring regions. The National Desert Park lies in this province. It is enormously vast (670,000 ha): a virgin desert- land where many plant and animal species that have become adapted to desert conditions, may be found, This park is unique in its own category and is an inexhaustible source of information for researchers and fans of nature. The leopard, panther, wild ass, wolf, hyena, fox, gazelle, ram, flamingo, eagle, falcon, duck, goose, pheasant, crane, pigeon, owl, swallow as well as many species of snakes and lizards, have learnt to survive in the harsh conditions of the desert.