Dead Sea

Country: Israel, Jordan, Palestine
Area: 1027 km ²
Dimensions: 75.95 x 4,5-16
Depth: 400 m
Volume: 111 km ³
Mirror height: -418 m above sea-level
Salinity: average of 280 ‰
River Power: Jordan
Rivers flowing: outflow

The Dead Sea is the lowest and most saline lake on Earth. Its area is 392 m ppm and 398 m bottom even lower. Ordinary seawater contains about 3.5% salt. The Dead Sea is her seven times as much.

The Dead Sea is part of the Jordan Rift tectonic and is like a vast basin into which water flows. Here the temperature is so high that almost all the water flowing into the lake from the Jordan River dries up, leaving even more salt.

Water is dark blue, is very calm and so saline that it is impossible to drown in it or swim. When immersed one hand, the other would rise to the surface. If you want to immerse yourself, we have gradually bend, until, when we lie flat.

History and nomenclature

About 17,000 years ago the Dead Sea water level was so high that it was connected to the north of Lake Tiberias.

Over the centuries, adhered to a different name: stinking sea, The Devil’s Sea, or Lake Asphalt. In the Bible it is called Sea and Sea Salt Araby. According to tradition, deep in the bottom lie the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Therefore, it is also known as the Sea or Sea of ​​Lot of Sodom – described in the Bible, witness the tragic events connected with these cities. Near the Dead Sea is the ancient fortress of Masada and the place to find scrolls from Qumran.

Unusual concentration of salt makes the surface easy to float the people who can not swim. The Roman commander, Vespasian, in order to check this phenomenon, he had to throw water captives.

Geography

Surface of the water is at the lowest point of the Earth, 418 m ppm (And still declining). Surface of the lake is 1020 km ² and a maximum depth – 399 m. The lake has very high salinity – an average of 28%. On the surface salinity is about 22%, and at a depth of 50 m – 36%.

The length of the lake stretching meridionally is 76 km and width 4,5-16 km. The coastline is fairly uniform, with the exception of Lisan Peninsula (language) that divides the Dead Sea on the northern part of the deeper and shallower southern (about 6 m deep).

Because the sea is so low-lying, water flows from it is not. In the twentieth century the amount of water flowing into the Dead Sea has decreased due to the use of the waters of the Jordan by Israel and Jordan, as well as climate change. Evaporation causes significant lowering of water table and precipitation of salt deposits. On a hot day evaporates as many as seven million tonnes – this explains why the sea is not extended. But unlike water, which evaporates, salts and other minerals remain. Therefore, it is the most salty water reservoir on Earth.

In connection with such high salinity in the Dead Sea has almost no organic life, but with water producing significant quantities of salt and potassium (resources estimated at 43 billion tons).

Are also used in the therapeutic effects of water and mud sediments. In ancient times, were encouraged to drink water in the belief that it has healing properties. Today it is not recommended, it is believed, however, that the salt water cleanses the body. Are known while the other properties in this region. In this low-lying area (the lowest depression of the world, more than 400m ppm) of air is up to 10% richer in oxygen and micronutrients. Atmospheric pressure reaches 800 mm Hg and is the highest in the world. Additionally, it is saturated bromkami. In addition, mineral-rich black mud and sulphurous hot springs found along the coast are used to treat skin diseases and arthritis. Over the years, also valued beauty and healing properties of balsam obtained from trees that once grew here. Very good results treating the chronically ill get there for asthma and allergies. Particularly good results are achieved in the healed and alleviate psoriasis and eczema treatment of a broad spectrum of skin. Unfortunately, due to difficult geological conditions in the area are only a few built resort and a few isolated beaches accessible to the public. Most of the shoreline is not available, and the so-called walking. wild beaches is risky and dangerous in connection with a number of faults occurring on the surface przysłoniętymi thin layer of sand (there are known numerous cases of disappearances of people walking around in places forbidden.)

Fauna and flora

Medieval travelers brought news of many sterile sea, completely devoid of birds, fish and vegetation. Even thought that hovering over the fumes are deadly. In this way, spread rumors about a dead, stinking sea. It is true that because of high salinity live there are some forms of bacteria, and each fish, which unfortunately gets a downstream quickly dies.

In the sea there is no favorable conditions for life, but otherwise is in adjacent areas. Although a large part of them is desert, you can find an oasis with waterfalls and tropical plants. This region is also a lot of wild animals. There are there 24 species of mammals, including the wolf, the cat Arabic and Nubian ibex. Sources of fresh water, allow to live many amphibians, reptiles and fish. The Dead Sea lies on the main migration route of birds, they counted over 90 species. These include black stork and white, griffon vulture and Egyptian vulture white.

Asphalt

One of the most intriguing phenomena of the Dead Sea is the extraction of bitumen (asphalt), which lumps appear on the surface. In 1905, the journal of The Biblical World mentions the huge block weighing approximately 2 700 kilograms, which was found on the shore in 1834. Some thought that the asphalt breaks away from the sea floor and flows to the surface due to earthquakes. More likely is that the asphalt comes out of the depths of the earth through cracks or structures called diapirami. When it reaches the bottom of the sea and freed from salt springs to the surface.