8/28/2019 1307

Iri Badlands geosite

Badlands are a type of erosional feature can be seen in the slopes of incompetent marl and clay terrain lacking vegetation. Because of their clay content, these lands are impermeable against water streams, so that when raining the water streams form a dense pattern of waterways and channels consist of hundreds of superimposed valleys like a grand maze. In fact, given to the ignorable competency of these terrains against erosion, rain drops can easily wash the land and leave an eroded landscape useless for agriculture so refer to as “badland”.

One the most prominent badlands is developed in central part of Jolfa area along the Iri to Dastjerd road, where an outcrop has developed consists of gray to green marl and shale of Cretaceous, covered by a thick competent layer of Miocene red conglomerate. Everywhere margins of this competent cover is collapsed and retreated, the underneath marl deposits are exposed and vastly eroded, forming the badland morphological feature. The color contrast between different sedimentary layers together the sharp topographic contrast has made one of the most astonishing landscapes in the Aras geopark.