The Dead Sea: A History of Change

The Dead Sea may be the most fascinating body of water on earth. It lies along the Great Rift (Afro-Arabian Rift), and is the lowest body of water on earth. A.D. Riddle and David Parker have created a relief map showing the level of the Dead Sea from 3500 B.C. to the present. The authors explain how they made the map at the site.

Visit the The Dead Sea - a History of Change.

Visit the The Dead Sea - a History of Change.

Click here to see the map. It takes a little while to get acquainted with all the information available on the page. Click the buttons on the right middle of the map page to run the animation. The extent of the water in the Dead Sea changes as the program runs through the centuries. Scroll over one of the names on the map and information appears in the blue box. This is a fascinating program.

Sinkholes on the western shore of the Dead Sea

Several news outlets, include our local Fox News station, ran reports on sinkholes that are developing along the western edge of the Dead Sea. Less water is flowing into the Dead Sea than in previous years. The Fox News report says,

As the Dead Sea recedes, fresh water comes to the dried-up areas in the form of rain, runoff and underground streams. The fresh water soaks into the ground, dissolving the salts that had been deposited there since long before there was a Sodom or a Gomorrah.

Once the salt dissolves, that opens up great underground caves — and the earth comes a-tumblin’ down.

Here is a photo showing one of the sinkholes filled with fresh water. The Dead Sea and the distant mountains of Moab are hidden in the summer haze.

Sinkhole along the western shore of Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Sinkhole along the western shore of Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

HT on the map: Biblical Studies and Technological Tools.

4 responses to “The Dead Sea: A History of Change

  1. Pingback: Kudos to Riddle & Parker for Dead Sea: A History of Change « Ferrell’s Travel Blog

  2. Shmuel Browns

    Thanks for the link to the mapping of changes in the Dead Sea over the years. Interesting to see the results based on their research and assumptions.

    If you’re interested in seeing photos of sinkholes in a rainbow if colors check out my set on Flickr

  3. Thanks. I have really seen a difference since 1967. It is interesting to note the program by Riddle and Park shows a few times in history when the water was much lower than now — at least based on the evidence they used.

  4. lukechandler

    I am staying by the Dead Sea this weekend, and have seen several of the holes. The difference in the water level from when I was here 9 years ago is noticeable, particularly in the area around Masada.

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