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Damavand volcanoDamavand volcano is a majestic stratovolcano located 70 km NE of Tehran and 70 km south of the Caspian Sea. Mt Damavand is the highest peak in the Middle East and the second highest volcano in Asia (after Kunlun volcano in Tibet).
Damavand last erupted about 7,300 years ago. There are no historical eruptions, but fumaroles at the summit crater suggest that the volcano is still active.
Background:Damavand is located on the tectonically active thrust and fold belt of the Alborz Mountains.
It is a massive stratovolcano with a volume of about 400 cubic kilometers and consists of a younger cone that was constructed during the past 600,000 years above an older, 1.78 million years old edifice, remnants of which were previously thought to be part of a caldera.
Damavand has onlyu few flank vents. Most activity has been from the summit crater, which has erupted a series of radial lava flows, mostly of trachyandesite composition. Most eruptions of Damavand seen to have been effusive, and only one significant explosive dposit is known, a welded ignimbrite that was produced about about 280,000 years ago.
The latest activity occurred about 7300 years ago and produced lava flows from the summit crater that cover the western flank.
The summit crater of DamavandVolcanologist from Geneva climbed Damavand on 12 July 1993 and 1 August 1999. They observed a small, powerful fumarolic vent on the S rim of the crater, which emitted SO2-rich gases at a temperature of about 50°C.
Sulfur deposits were present on the surrounding slopes. The summit crater itself was about 150 m wide and 20 m deep, and contained a 40-m-diameter frozen lake in the bottom.
There is o permanent glacier because the climate is too dry, but there are patches of hardened perennial snow (névés).
Vertical coal deposits were found on the N flank below 2,450 m elevation, reaching thicknesses of tens of meters. Above 4,000 m elevation huge blocks were seen that probably had fallen and rolled down from 1 km above. Just below the summit, large sulfur-bearing blocks were found. Within 100 m of the N rim of the summit pblocks of pure sulfur were found.
(Source: GVP / Smithsonian monthly reports)
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