Dasht-e Kavir, also known as Kavir-e Namak (lit. ‘salty lowlands’) and the Great Salt Desert, is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian plateau. It is about 800 km (500 mi) and 320 km (200 mi) with a total surface area of about 77,600 km2 (30,000 sq mi), making it the Earth’s 23rd largest desert. The area of this desert stretches from the Alborz mountain range in the north-west to the Dasht-e Lut in the south-east and is partitioned between the Iranian provinces of Khorasan, Semnan, Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd.
Dasht means ‘plain’ in Persian. It is named after the salt marshes (“kavirs”) located there. Namak means ‘salt’.