Iran / Geography /
Also called: Alburz; Elborz; Elburz
Many sections of both the northern and southern slopes of the Alborz are heavily populated, Teheran at 1,200 metres above sea level, is both the capital and largest city of Iran with 7.5 million inhabitants (2005 estimate).
Other major cities in the mountain ridge are Karaj (1 million), Qazvin (320,000) and Semnan (120,000). All 2005 estimates.
Still, many regions have few inhabitants, and there are areas still inhabitated only by nomads.
Infrastructure is good, many roads pass or cross the mountains. One railway cross the mountains in the west, connecting Rasht with Qazvin, while other railways run parallel both in the south and the north.
The mountains is mainly made from limestone with beds of lava and volcanic tuff. The range is cut by one river only, the Safid in the western section (marked on the map).
The mountain range divides the region into two climatic zones. The northern, along the Caspian Sea benefits from moisture from the sea as well as rainfall, with a precipitation of 1,000 mm in the lowlands and more in the mountains. The region is humid and forested, main vegetation being beech, oak and wild cypress. The region.
The southern region, has a more arid climate, with precipitation between 280 and 500 mm. Vegetation is poor, but historically juniper forests were common.
Animal life no longer include the Hyrcanian tigers, but there are leopards and the lynx, wild boar, deers, the mouflon sheep, ibex, eagles and pheasants.