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Posts tagged Sistan Basin

Helmand River Crossing Afghanistan

30.4N 63.3E

July 1st, 2011 Category: Deserts, Rivers

Afghanistan - June 21st, 2011

The Helmand River can be seen crossing the desert of Afghanistan in the lower part of this image. It is the longest river in the country and the primary watershed for the endorheic Sistan Basin.

The Helmand river stretches for 1,150 km (715 miles). It rises in the Hindu Kush mountains and then crosses south-west through the desert of Dashti Margo, to the Seistan marshes and the Hamun-i-Helmand lake region around Zabol at the Afghan-Iranian border.

Desert Sands and Rivers in Sistan Basin, Afghanistan

30.7N 64.4E

May 6th, 2011 Category: Deserts, Rivers

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran - May 2nd, 2011

The Sistan Basin is an inland endorheic basin encompassing large parts of southwestern Afghanistan and southeastern Iran, one of the driest regions in the world and an area subjected to prolonged droughts. Here, many sand dunes can be observed in its driest parts.

Its watershed is a system of rivers flowing from the highlands of Afghanistan into freshwater lakes and marshes and then to its ultimate destination: Afghanistan’s saline Godzareh depression, part of the extensive Sistan terminal basin.

The Helmand River, appearing here as a thick green line running above areas of sand dunes,  drains the basin’s largest watershed, fed mainly by snowmelt from the mountains of Hindu Kush, but other rivers contribute also.

The Helmand River Crossing Desert in Afghanistan

30.5N 63.6E

April 2nd, 2011 Category: Deserts, Lakes

Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan - March 23rd, 2011

A large, sandy desert can be observed in southern Afghanistan, near the border with Iran (west) and Pakistan (east). Running across the desert is the Helmand River, the longest river in Afghanistan and the primarily watershed for the endorheic Sistan Basin.

The Helmand river stretches for 1,150 km (715 miles). It rises in the Hindu Kush mountains, about 80 km (50 miles) west of Kabul. It crosses south-west through the desert of Dashti Margo, to the Seistan marshes and the Hamun-i-Helmand lake region around Zabol at the Afghan-Iranian border.

The river remains relatively salt-free for much of its length, unlike most rivers with no outlet to the sea. This river is used extensively for irrigation, although a buildup of mineral salts has decreased its usefulness in watering crops.

Helmand River and Lake Hamun, Afghanistan and Iran

31.0N 61.2E

June 20th, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan borders - June 8th, 2009

Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan borders - June 8th, 2009

Much of the land here in Iran (left), Pakistan (bottom right) and Afghanistan (top right) appears quite dry, with a large area of sandy desert in Afghanistan near its southern border with Pakistan.

However, the Helmand River, which appears white due to sun glint, flows through this desert region. Stretching for 1,150 km (715 miles), it is the longest river in Afghanistan and the primarily watershed for the endorheic Sistan Basin.

It rises in the Hindu Kush mountains and crosses south-west through the desert of Dashti Margo, to the Seistan Marshes and the Hamun-i-Helmand lake region around Zabol at the Afghan-Iranian border.

The river remains relatively salt-free for much of its length, unlike most rivers with no outlet to the sea. This river is used extensively for irrigation, although a buildup of mineral salts has decreased its usefulness in watering crops.

Its waters are essential for farmers in Afghanistan, but it feeds into Lake Hamun, visible above the image center, and is also important to farmers in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan province. Lake Hamun has an area of 1,600 km² at its greatest extent during the rainy season.