Depositional pattern of sediments in a dry-lake Playa in NE Iran; Implication for geomorphologic characteristics

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate, Department of Geography, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran;

2 Associate Professor, Department of Desert and Arid Zones Management, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Mashhad. Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Geology Faculty of Sciences Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM). Mashhad. Iran



The depositional pattern of dry lake playa sediments in NE Iran was studied to characterize the surface morphology of the playa based on sediment mineralogy. About 12 topo-soil samples were excavated by hand auger. All topo-soils were collected in three landforms of firm-puffy ground, clay-carbonate crusts, and halite dominated saltpans, to be examined for mineralogy by XRD analysis and physicochemical properties in the lab. XRF analysis performed to define the major oxides of the sediments. Quartz and calcite were the main minerals over the playa. Also, halite and gypsum were the major minerals categorized in the sediments indicating the dominant evaporate process in the area. Based on the results, a high concentration of EC (>48 dS/m) was observed in the mid-southern and southern part of the playa. Besides, the high concentrations of CCE (>27 %) and pH (>9) were observed in the eastern and the western playa, verifying the primary detection of the playa’s three major geomorphologic landforms in the fieldwork. A recent depositional pattern of carbonates and chloride formed from eastern to the western parts of the playa, respectively. Nevertheless, central playa shows the areas with the main minerals of calcite and halite. The existence of evaporate minerals depends on a cycle of the wet and dried lake during the Holocene.


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