The Kopet Dag, Kopet Dagh, or Koppeh Dagh (Persian:
کپهداغ; Turkmen: Köpetdag), also known as the
Turkmen-Khorasan Mountain Range is a mountain range on the frontier
Iran that extends about 650 kilometres
(400 mi) along the border southeast of the Caspian Sea,
stretching northwest-southeast from near the
Caspian Sea in the
northwest to the
Harirud River in the southeast. The highest peak
of the range in
Turkmenistan is the Mount Rizeh (Kuh-e Rizeh), located
at the southwest of the capital
Ashgabat and stands at 2,940 metres
(9,646 ft). The highest Iranian summit is Mount Quchan (Kuh-e
Quchan) with 3,191 metres (10,469 ft). ,
5 Ski resort
6 Plants and animals
7 See also
The word "kopet" or in Persian "koppeh" means "pile" or "heap", and
the word "dag" or "dagh" means "mountain" in Turkic. So "Kopet Dagh"
or "Koppeh Dagh" could be defined as "the mountain that is piled or
heaped" and therefore the words could mean "piled or hilly mountains"
or "low hills" in general.
Kopet Dag Range is made chiefly of Lower Cretaceous
sedimentary rocks with a smaller portion of
Jurassic rocks in the
southeastern parts. The mountains were formed in the
Pliocene during the Alpine orogeny. As the
Tethys Sea was closed
Arabian Plate collided with the
Iranian Plate and was pushed
against it and with the clockwise movement of the Eurasian Plate
Iranian Plate and their final collision, the Iranian Plate
was pressed against the Turan Platform. This collision folded the
entire rocks that had been deposited in this geosyncline or basin from
Jurassic to the
Miocene and formed the
Kopet Dag Mountains.
Kopet Dag Range is a region characterized by foothills, dry and
sandy slopes, mountain plateaus, and steep ravines. The
Kopet Dag is
undergoing tectonic transformation, and is subject to severe
earthquakes. Earthquakes exceeding seven on the Richter scale have
Kopet Dagh from space
The most western foothills of the Kopetdag mountains are known as the
The foothills of the Kopet-Dag near
Ashgabat are the site of the
remains of the ancient Parthian city of Nisa (Nessa, Nusaý).
This mountain range has a ski resort, officially opened by the former
president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov. Despite the lack of
snow in the
Kopet Dag mountains, Niyazov was determined to build a
major resort there.
Plants and animals
Kopet Dag Mountains in May.
The woodlands of the region are home to many fruit trees, shrubs, and
vines that have proved valuable for human use and selective breeding,
including pomegranate (Punica granatum), wild grapes Vitis sylvestris,
fig (Ficus carica), wild apple (Malus turkmenorum), wild pear (Pyrus
boissieriana), wild cherries (
Prunus spp., also called Cerasus
microcarpa, C. erythrocarpa, C. blinovskii), wild prune (Prunus
divaricata), almonds (Amygdalus communis=
Prunus dulcis, and A.
Prunus scoparia), and hawthorns (
1929 Koppeh Dagh earthquake
^ ,"خرِبِت كُپِتدَگ: Iran". Retrieved 2010-09-09. .
^ Microsoft Encarta World Atlas, 2001, Microsoft Corporation
^ Kopet-Dag Range, Encyclopædia Britannica, www.britannica.com
^ Geological Map of Iran, National Geoscience Database of Iran,
^ Geological Map of the Middle East, published by Geological Survey of
Iran, Second Edition, 1993
^ Oct. 5, 1948 - More than 110,000 people were killed by 7.3 quake.
Staff (11 January 2005) "World's worst natural disasters since 1900"
^ Turkmen government announces new construction projects Universal
Newswires, accessed on November 15, 2012.
^ We need to talk about
Turkmenistan BBC, accessed on February 9,
^ Ski Turkmenistan! Google Earth Community, accessed on February 9,