| Post date: 2020/04/26 | 
Our Conference will held in Gorgan.  Gorgan is the capital of Golestan Province, northeast Iran. It lies approximately ٤٠٠ km to the northeast of Tehran, some ٣٠ km away from the Caspian Sea. The average annual temperature is ١٧.٧°C and the annual rainfall is ٦٠٠ mm. During excursion, the Caspian Lowlands, the Iranian Loess Plateau, the Alborz Mountains and the northernmost part of the Central Plateau will be visited .

Excursion ١: Caspian lowlands and Iranian Loess Plateau 

In Northern Iran, extensive loess deposits resembling “typical glacial loess” occur on the northern footslopes of Alborz Mountains between the cities of Sari and Minoodasht and in the so called Iranian Loess Plateau (Figure ٢) northeast of Gonbad-e Kavoos (Lateef ١٩٨٨, Kehl et al. ٢٠٠٥, Frechen et al. ٢٠٠٩, Vlaminck et al. ٢٠١٦). During the last years, several loess-soil sequences located on the northern foothills of Alborz Mountains and within the ILP have been studied. Unweathered (primary) loesses in Northern Iran show a typical loess texture, dominated by high silt contents of up to ٨٨ % and a median grain size ranging from ٨ at the section at Neka to ٣٤ μm in Agh Band . In the studied sections (Now Deh and Neka) in ILP luminescence age study of the upper most loess layers age back to ٦٠ ka, suggesting that the uppermost loess layers accumulated during the last glacial (Kehl et al. ٢٠٠٥ and Frechen et al. ٢٠٠٩). The palaeosol horizons age are related to the last interglacial and the parental loess to OIS ٦ (Frechen et al. ٢٠٠٩). In the City of Gorgan and its surroundings, several former brickery pits and road cuts expose loess deposits, more than ٣٠ m thick, which cover the northern foothills of Alborz Mountains to the west and east of the city. Sadabad section in Gorgan will provide an access to these loess deposits and intercalated palaeosols. Beside thick loess-palaeosol sequences several isolated linear dunes and barchans are developed between the south of Atrak River and the north of Gorgan River, on the flat lowland which spread between the Caspian Sea (West), Kopet Dagh and Alborz Mountains (East and South) and Karakum desert (North). The dunes strike WNW-ESE and attain maximum heights of ١٥ m to ٣٠ m above the surface of the plain (Kehl et al. ٢٠١٧). Sand dunes especially in eastern Caspian lowlands, Incheh-broun, provide valuable information in terms of palaeoclimate conditions and Caspian Sea level changes. Sand dunes accumulation in the area is happened ١٠.٦ to ٨.٤ ka. Mostly of those are parabolic type and reflecting arid to semi-arid palaeoenvironmental conditions with sparse vegetation and predominance of easterly winds at the time of dune formation. The spatial and temporal distribution pattern of the studied dunes reflects a quick regression of the Caspian Sea during the Early Holocene, probably following the so-called Mangyshlak regression (Rahmizadeh et al. ٢٠١٩)
There are ٢٣ mud volcanos in Golestan province, among them Gharenyaregh, Neftlijeh, Sofikam and Inche mud volcanoes in Gorgan Plain (SE Caspian Basin) are active and erupting mud and gas. Gharenyaregh mud volcano (GMV), with the largest crater (٥٠٠ m), has been generated from the Kopeh Dagh part of the deeper Gorgan Plain (Omrani and Raghimi ٢٠١٨). 
Excursion ٢: Alborz Mountains and Central Plateau
During the excursion  Badab-e Surt colorful spring in Sari, Cheshmeh Ali spring as a part of Damghan fault (length ١٠٠ km) close to Teppe Hesar site (٤٠٠٠ BC) and Haj Aligoli desert (Figure ٣) combination of Sand dunes, Nebkha deposits and salt playa, will be visited. 
Badab-e Surt spring 
Badab-e Surt spring (BSs) lying at about ١,٨٤١ m asl in Alborz Mountain ranges is located in Northern Iran (Mazandaran province), ١٠٠km of Southern Sari city and east of Orost village, it is recognized as a World Heritage Site.  A few other places in the world resemble it, including the Pamukkale in Denizli in southwestern Turkey, Mammoth Hot Springs in the USA, and Huanglong in Sichuan Province of China (Sotohian and Ranjbaran ٢٠١٥). Geologically the spring comes from Shemshak Formation a thick sequence of siliciclastic sediments and coal-bearing deposits.

BSs (Figure ٤) is including two springs, one with the saline and the other spring water has a sour taste and orange color. They formed during Pleistocene and Pliocene, by the time the discharged cool bicarbonate-rich waters  from these springs has resulted in the formation of red, orange and yellow travertine terraces with crystalline crust, pisoid, tufa, and carbonate black muds lithofacies (Sotohian and Ranjbaran ٢٠١٥).
Haj Aligoli desert
Haj Aligoli /Chah-e-jam/Damgan desert is located at about ١٠٥٠-١٠٩٤ m asl in the southern Alborz Mountains close to dry plains of Iran central plateau and southeast of Damgan city (Semnan province). The desert area is ٢٣٩١; average temperature during summer season (JJ) is ٤٨ ⁰C and -٥ ⁰C in winter (JF) (Vahdati Nasab and Hashemi ٢٠١٦). Damgan desert is a sedimentary-structural phenomenon (Ahmadi ١٩٩٩). Due to poor vegetation, negative effective precipitation and wind activity desert landforms Nebkah, Barkhan, Seif and Sand dunes are dominant in the area (Vali and Musavi ٢٠١٠).
Based on sedimentology Damgan desert can be divided into three parts. The first part, which comprises ٤٧% of the desert, is the flat plate of clayey sediments, the second part is the wet or swampy area, which covers an area of about ٣٤% of the surface of the desert and finally the remained central part is a salt desert  (Krinsley ١٩٧٠).
Discovered Upper/Epipaleolithic periods settlement evidences in the area indicating that climate during the late Pleistocene was different from than present (Vahdati Nasab and Hashemi ٢٠١٦).
Cheshmeh Ali spring
The biggest karstic spring in Semnan province called Cheshme-Ali (CAs)(Figure ٦) is located at ٣٠ km of NW Damghan and is one of Damgan desert catchments. CAs water discharge is ٥٠٠-٧٠٠ l/s and which provides drinking water for part of Semnan city and ٢٥ nearby villages. Average annual precipitation of the CAs watershed is ١٥٥ whereas the number for the evaporation is ١٩٠٠ mm. Geologically CAs is a part of eastern Alborz zone which is combination of the thick Delichae and thin Lar calcareous formations (Hosseini  et al. ٢٠١٨).


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Important Dates

  • Abstract Submission Deadline: 22 October 2015 extended to 6 November 2015
  • Abstract Review Deadline: 11 November 2015
  • Final Decision on Abstracts: 21 November 2015
  • Full Paper Submission Deadline: 5 January 2016 extended to 20 January 2016
  • Announcement of Conference Detailed Program: 18 March 2016
  • Conference: 2-4 May 2016

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