Elburz (ĕlbŏrzˈ) [key], mountain range, N Iran, between the Caspian Sea and the central Iranian plateau; rises to 18,606 ft (5,671 m) at Mt. Damavand. The range consists of steep, narrow, parallel ridges crossed only by the Safid Rud, whose valley forms the main trans-Elburz route. The northern slopes of the Elburz are rainy and forested; the southern slope is semiarid. Snowcapped water peaks provide seasonal meltwater, which is used for irrigation and industry.