1029 GMT May 24, 2022
The mud volcanoes in the northeastern Iranian province of Golestan are among rare geological phenomena in the world, appearing only in few countries, according to an official at the Office of the Vice President for Science and Technology.
Speaking exclusively to Iran Daily, Kambiz Mehdizadeh, director of innovation and technologies development plan for mining and mining industries, added, “Despite being considered a significant natural tourism attraction in Golestan Province, these mud volcanoes have remained relatively unknown.”
A mud volcano or mud dome is a landform created by the eruption of mud or slurries, water and gases. Mud volcanoes are not true igneous volcanoes, as they do not produce lava and are not necessarily driven by magmatic activity.
Mehdizadeh said the third episode of the documentary series, ‘The Face of the Earth,’ (Rokhsare-ye Zamin) – produced by the Office of the Vice Presidenct for Science and Technology – is dedicated to the mud volcanoes in Golestan.
“The documentary looks into the geological and mineral resources in the country,” Mehdizadeh said.
There are four major mud volcanoes in Golestan: Qareniareq, Neftlijeh, Gobaklajeh, and Inche, each of which is distinguished by a unique feature, the Iranian official added.
“The Neftlijeh Mud Volcano has a pink appearance – turning purple at certain times of the year – owing to the sodium chloride it contains. It has therapeutic properties for joint and spine pains, as well as artery stenosis and muscle contractions,” said Mehdizadeh.
Speaking of other mud volcanoes in the country, Mehdizadeh said, “There are mud volcanoes in Konarak County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, and East Azarbaijan Province, which enjoy aesthetic attributes due to their geometric dimensions.”
Underlining the importance of geotourism in Iran, Mehdizadeh said, “Despite a high geotourism potential, a comprehensive plan is yet to be devised in this respect. Given the global reduction of mineral reserves, the world is adopting new technologies for mineral exploration, and that’s what we also have to do in Iran.”
“We should also shift from surface exploration to exploring deep mineral resources,” insisted Mehdizadeh. “Globally, the average depth of mineral exploration is between 79-100 meters, while the figure stands at 1-5 meters in Iran.”
This is while 50 to 72 percent of mineral resources lie some 100-200 meters below the surface of the Earth, Mehdizadeh said.