Hormuz Island off the coast of Iran. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Hormuz Island, which is located in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Iran.
The island is known for a rainbow of colors across its diverse landscapes, including beaches, salt caves, and mountains.
According to NASA, the island is a salt dome – a mound of rock salt, gypsum, anhydrite, and other evaporites that has risen upward through overlying layers of rock.
Hormuz Island also contains layers of clay, carbonates, shale, and iron-rich volcanic rocks. Some of these rocks transformed into brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange when they interacted with water and minerals from other rock layers as they emerged. Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. It was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BC, and reached its territorial height in the sixth century BC, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which became one of the largest empires in history. The empire fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion established the Parthian Empire in the third century BC, which was succeeded in the third century AD by the Sasanian Empire, a major world power for the next four centuries. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century AD, which led to the Islamization of Iran, and it subsequently becoming a major center of Islamic culture and learning, with its art, literature, philosophy, and architecture spreading across the Muslim world and beyond during the Islamic Golden Age. Over the next two centuries, a series of native Muslim dynasties emerged before the Seljuq Turks and the Mongols conquered the region.
This natural-color image was acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory