Dead Sea

Dead Sea

Overview
The Dead Sea also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake
Salt lake
A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water which has a concentration of salts and other dissolved minerals significantly higher than most lakes . In some cases, salt lakes have a higher concentration of salt than sea water, but such lakes would also be termed hypersaline lakes...

 bordering Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 to the east and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

, the lowest elevation on the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

's surface. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake
Hypersaline lake
A hypersaline lake is a landlocked body of water that contains significant concentrations of sodium chloride or other mineral salts, with saline levels surpassing that of ocean water . Specific microbial and crustacean species thrive in these high salinity environments that are otherwise...

 in the world. With 33.7% salinity
Salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

, it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, though Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl
Garabogazköl
The Garabogazköl Aylagy, alternatively the Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a shallow inundated depression in the northwestern corner of Turkmenistan. It forms a lagoon of the Caspian Sea with a surface area of about...

 and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys
McMurdo Dry Valleys
The McMurdo Dry Valleys are a row of snow-free valleys in Antarctica located within Victoria Land west of McMurdo Sound. The region is one of the world's most extreme deserts, and includes many interesting features including Lake Vida and the Onyx River, Antarctica's longest river.-Climate:The Dry...

 in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond
Don Juan Pond
Don Juan Pond, also called Lake Don Juan, is a small and very shallow hypersaline lake in the west end of Wright Valley , Victoria Land, Antarctica, west from Lake Vanda. It is wedged between the Asgard Range in the south and the Dais in the north. On the west end there is a small tributary and a...

) have reported higher salinities.
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Encyclopedia
The Dead Sea also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake
Salt lake
A salt lake or saline lake is a landlocked body of water which has a concentration of salts and other dissolved minerals significantly higher than most lakes . In some cases, salt lakes have a higher concentration of salt than sea water, but such lakes would also be termed hypersaline lakes...

 bordering Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 to the east and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

, the lowest elevation on the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

's surface. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake
Hypersaline lake
A hypersaline lake is a landlocked body of water that contains significant concentrations of sodium chloride or other mineral salts, with saline levels surpassing that of ocean water . Specific microbial and crustacean species thrive in these high salinity environments that are otherwise...

 in the world. With 33.7% salinity
Salinity
Salinity is the saltiness or dissolved salt content of a body of water. It is a general term used to describe the levels of different salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium sulfates, and bicarbonates...

, it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, though Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl
Garabogazköl
The Garabogazköl Aylagy, alternatively the Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a shallow inundated depression in the northwestern corner of Turkmenistan. It forms a lagoon of the Caspian Sea with a surface area of about...

 and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys
McMurdo Dry Valleys
The McMurdo Dry Valleys are a row of snow-free valleys in Antarctica located within Victoria Land west of McMurdo Sound. The region is one of the world's most extreme deserts, and includes many interesting features including Lake Vida and the Onyx River, Antarctica's longest river.-Climate:The Dry...

 in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond
Don Juan Pond
Don Juan Pond, also called Lake Don Juan, is a small and very shallow hypersaline lake in the west end of Wright Valley , Victoria Land, Antarctica, west from Lake Vanda. It is wedged between the Asgard Range in the south and the Dais in the north. On the west end there is a small tributary and a...

) have reported higher salinities. It is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley
Jordan Rift Valley
The Jordan Rift Valley is an elongated depression located in modern-day Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. This geographic region includes the Jordan River, Jordan Valley, Hula Valley, Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth...

, and its main tributary
Tributary
A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean...

 is the Jordan River.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

 for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 mummification
Mummy
A mummy is a body, human or animal, whose skin and organs have been preserved by either intentional or incidental exposure to chemicals, extreme coldness , very low humidity, or lack of air when bodies are submerged in bogs, so that the recovered body will not decay further if kept in cool and dry...

 to potash
Potash
Potash is the common name for various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form. In some rare cases, potash can be formed with traces of organic materials such as plant remains, and this was the major historical source for it before the industrial era...

 for fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

s. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics
Cosmetics
Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

 and herbal sachet
Sachet (scented bag)
A sachet is a small cloth scented bag filled with herbs, potpourri, or aromatic ingredients.It is also defined as a small soft bag containing perfumed or sweet-smelling items also referred to as an ascent bag, scent bag, sweet bag, sachet bag, sachet de senteurs, spiced sachet, potpourri sachet,...

s. In 2009, 1.2 million foreign tourists visited on the Israeli side.

The sea has a density of 1.24 kg/L, which makes swimming similar to floating.

Etymology and toponymy


In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is , meaning "sea of salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

" (Genesis 14:3). In prose sometimes the term is used, due to the scarcity of aquatic life there. In Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 the Dead Sea is called ("the Dead Sea"), or less commonly .gif", event)' onMouseout='HidePop("99797")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Lot_(Bible)">Lot
Lot (Bible)
Lot is a man from the Book of Genesis chapters 11-14 and 19, in the Hebrew Bible. Notable episodes in his life include his travels with his uncle Abram ; his flight from the destruction of Sodom, in the course of which Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt; and the seduction by his...

"). Another historic name in Arabic was the "Sea of Zoʼar
Neve Zohar
Neve Zohar is a communal village in the South District of Israel, and the capital of the Tamar Regional Council. It is located on the junction of Highway 31 and Highway 90 , on the shores of the Dead Sea and 23 km from Arad by road...

", after a nearby town in biblical times. The Greeks called it Lake Asphaltites (Attic Greek
Attic Greek
Attic Greek is the prestige dialect of Ancient Greek that was spoken in Attica, which includes Athens. Of the ancient dialects, it is the most similar to later Greek, and is the standard form of the language studied in courses of "Ancient Greek". It is sometimes included in Ionic.- Origin and range...

 , , "the Asphaltite sea"). The Bible also refers to it as and ' onMouseout='HidePop("76997")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Arabah">Arabah
Arabah
The Arabah , also known as Aravah, is a section of the Great Rift Valley running in a north-south orientation between the southern end of the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea and continuing further south where it ends at the Gulf of Aqaba. It includes most of the border between Israel to the...

").

Geography


The Dead Sea is an endorheic lake located in the Jordan Rift Valley
Jordan Rift Valley
The Jordan Rift Valley is an elongated depression located in modern-day Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. This geographic region includes the Jordan River, Jordan Valley, Hula Valley, Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth...

, a geographic feature formed by the Dead Sea Transform
Dead Sea Transform
The Dead Sea Transform fault system, also sometimes referred to as the Dead Sea Rift, is a geologic fault which runs from the Maras Triple Junction to the northern end of the Red Sea Rift...

 (DST). This left lateral-moving transform fault
Transform fault
A transform fault or transform boundary, also known as conservative plate boundary since these faults neither create nor destroy lithosphere, is a type of fault whose relative motion is predominantly horizontal in either sinistral or dextral direction. Furthermore, transform faults end abruptly...

 lies along the tectonic
Tectonics
Tectonics is a field of study within geology concerned generally with the structures within the lithosphere of the Earth and particularly with the forces and movements that have operated in a region to create these structures.Tectonics is concerned with the orogenies and tectonic development of...

 plate boundary
Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere...

 between the African Plate
African Plate
The African Plate is a tectonic plate which includes the continent of Africa, as well as oceanic crust which lies between the continent and various surrounding ocean ridges.-Boundaries:...

 and the Arabian Plate
Arabian Plate
The Arabian Plate is one of three tectonic plates which have been moving northward over millions of years and colliding with the Eurasian Plate...

. It runs between the East Anatolian Fault
East Anatolian Fault
The East Anatolian Fault is a major strike-slip fault zone in eastern Turkey. It forms the transform type tectonic boundary between the Anatolian Plate and the northward-moving Arabian Plate. The difference in the relative motions of the two plates is manifest in the left lateral motion along the...

 zone in Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and the northern end of the Red Sea Rift
Red Sea Rift
The Red Sea Rift is a spreading center between two tectonic plates, the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. It extends down the length of the Red Sea, stretching from the southern end of the Dead Sea Transform to a triple junction with the Aden Ridge and the East African Rift in the Afar...

 offshore of the southern tip of Sinai
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

.

The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the Dead Sea, creating pools and quicksand
Quicksand
Quicksand is a colloid hydrogel consisting of fine granular matter , clay, and water.Water circulation underground can focus in an area with the optimal mixture of fine sands and other materials such as clay. The water moves up and then down slowly in a convection-like manner throughout a column...

 pits along the edges. There are no outlet streams.

Rainfall is scarcely 100 mm (4 in) per year in the northern part of the Dead Sea and barely 50 mm (2 in) in the southern part. The Dead Sea zone's aridity is due to the rainshadow
Rain shadow
A rain shadow is a dry area on the lee side of a mountainous area. The mountains block the passage of rain-producing weather systems, casting a "shadow" of dryness behind them. As shown by the diagram to the right, the warm moist air is "pulled" by the prevailing winds over a mountain...

 effect of the Judean Hills
Judean Mountains
The Judaean Mountains, ;, also Judaean Hills and Hebron Hills is a mountain range in Israel and the West Bank where Jerusalem and several other biblical cities are located. The mountains reach a height of 1,000 m.-Geography:...

. The highlands east of the Dead Sea receive more rainfall than the Dead Sea itself.

To the west of the Dead Sea, the Judean Hills rise less steeply and are much lower than the mountains to the east. Along the southwestern side of the lake is a 210 m (689 ft) tall halite
Halite
Halite , commonly known as rock salt, is the mineral form of sodium chloride . Halite forms isometric crystals. The mineral is typically colorless or white, but may also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, red, orange, yellow or gray depending on the amount and type of impurities...

 formation called "Mount Sodom".

Natural history


There are two contending hypotheses about the origin of the low elevation of the Dead Sea. The older hypothesis is that it lies in a true rift zone, an extension of the Red Sea Rift
Red Sea Rift
The Red Sea Rift is a spreading center between two tectonic plates, the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. It extends down the length of the Red Sea, stretching from the southern end of the Dead Sea Transform to a triple junction with the Aden Ridge and the East African Rift in the Afar...

, or even of the Great Rift Valley
Great Rift Valley
The Great Rift Valley is a name given in the late 19th century by British explorer John Walter Gregory to the continuous geographic trench, approximately in length, that runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in South East Africa...

 of eastern Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

. A more recent hypothesis is that the Dead Sea basin is a consequence of a "step-over" discontinuity along the Dead Sea Transform, creating an extension of the crust with consequent subsidence.

Around three million years ago, what is now the valley of the Jordan River, Dead Sea, and Wadi Arabah
Arabah
The Arabah , also known as Aravah, is a section of the Great Rift Valley running in a north-south orientation between the southern end of the Sea of Galilee down to the Dead Sea and continuing further south where it ends at the Gulf of Aqaba. It includes most of the border between Israel to the...

 was repeatedly inundated by waters from the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. The waters formed in a narrow, crooked bay which was connected to the sea through what is now the Jezreel Valley
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

. The floods of the valley came and went depending on long scale climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

. The lake that occupied the Dead Sea Rift, named "Lake Sedom", deposited beds of salt that eventually became 3 km (2 mi) thick.

Approximately two million years ago, the land between the Rift Valley
Rift valley
A rift valley is a linear-shaped lowland between highlands or mountain ranges created by the action of a geologic rift or fault. This action is manifest as crustal extension, a spreading apart of the surface which is subsequently further deepened by the forces of erosion...

 and the Mediterranean Sea rose to such an extent that the ocean could no longer flood the area. Thus, the long bay became a lake.

The first such prehistoric lake is named "Lake Amora" Lake Amora was a freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

 or brackish lake that extended at least 80 km (49.7 mi) south of the current southern end of the Dead Sea and 100 km (62.1 mi) north, well above the present Hula Depression. As the climate became more arid, Lake Amora shrank and became saltier. The large, saltwater predecessor of the Dead Sea is called "Lake Lisan."

In prehistoric times
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

, great amounts of sediment collected on the floor of Lake Amora. The sediment was heavier than the salt deposits and squeezed the salt deposits upwards into what are now the Lisan Peninsula
Lisan Peninsula
The Lisan Peninsula is a large spit of land which now separates the North and the South basins of the Dead Sea. Its name is Arabic for "tongue." The peninsula, located entirely within Jordanian territory, separates the northern section of the Dead Sea from its shallow southern part...

 and Mount Sodom (on the southwest side of the lake). Geologists explain the effect in terms of a bucket of mud into which a large flat stone is placed, forcing the mud to creep up the sides of the pail. When the floor of the Dead Sea dropped further due to tectonic forces, the salt mounts of Lisan and Mount Sodom stayed in place as high cliffs. (see salt dome
Salt dome
A salt dome is a type of structural dome formed when a thick bed of evaporite minerals found at depth intrudes vertically into surrounding rock strata, forming a diapir....

s)

From 70,000 to 12,000 years ago, the lake level was 100 m (328.1 ft) to 250 m (820.2 ft) higher than its current level. This lake, called "Lake Lisan
Lake Lisan
Lake Lisan was a prehistoric lake that existed between 70,000 to 12,000 BC in the Great Rift Valley in the Near East. It is sometimes referred to as a Pleistocene lake....

", fluctuated dramatically, rising to its highest level around 26,000 years ago, indicating a very wet climate in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

. Around 10,000 years ago, the lake level dropped dramatically, probably to levels even lower than today. During the last several thousand years, the lake has fluctuated approximately 400 m (1,312.3 ft), with some significant drops and rises. Current theories as to the cause of this dramatic drop in levels rule out volcanic activity
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

; therefore, it may have been a seismic event.

Climate


The Dead Sea's climate offers year-round sunny skies and dry air. It has less than 50 millimetres (2 in) mean annual rainfall and a summer average temperature between 32 and 39 °C (89.6 and 102.2 F). Winter average temperatures range between 20 and 23 °C (68 and 73.4 F). The region has weakened ultraviolet radiation
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

, particularly the UVB (erythrogenic rays), and an atmosphere characterized by a high oxygen
Oxygen
Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

 content due to the high barometric pressure
Atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

. The sea affects temperatures nearby because of the moderating effect a large body of water has on climate. During the winter, sea temperatures tend to be higher than land temperatures, and vice versa during the summer months. This is the result of the water's mass and specific heat capacity. On average, there are 192 days above 30C (86F) annually.

Chemistry


Until the winter of 1978-79, when a major mixing event took place, the Dead Sea was composed of two stratified layers of water that differed in temperature, density, age, and salinity. The topmost 35 metres (115 ft) or so of the Dead Sea had a salinity that ranged between 300 and 400 parts per thousand
Concentration
In chemistry, concentration is defined as the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture. Four types can be distinguished: mass concentration, molar concentration, number concentration, and volume concentration...

 and a temperature that swung between 19 °C (66.2 °F) and 37 °C (98.6 °F). Underneath a zone of transition, the lowest level of the Dead Sea had waters of a consistent 22 °C (71.6 °F) temperature and complete saturation of sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

 (NaCl). Since the water near the bottom is saturated
Saturation (chemistry)
In chemistry, saturation has six different meanings, all based on reaching a maximum capacity...

, the salt precipitates out of solution onto the sea floor
Seabed
The seabed is the bottom of the ocean.- Ocean structure :Most of the oceans have a common structure, created by common physical phenomena, mainly from tectonic movement, and sediment from various sources...

.

Beginning in the 1960s, water inflow to the Dead Sea from the Jordan River was reduced as a result of large-scale irrigation and generally low rainfall. By 1975, the upper water layer of the Dead Sea was saltier than the lower layer. Nevertheless, the upper layer remained suspended above the lower layer because its waters were warmer and thus less dense. When the upper layer finally cooled down so its density was greater than the lower layer, the waters of the Dead Sea mixed (1978–79). For the first time in centuries, the lake was a homogeneous body of water. Since then, stratification
Stratification (water)
Water stratification occurs when water masses with different properties - salinity , oxygenation , density , temperature - form layers that act as barriers to water mixing...

 has begun to redevelop.

The mineral content of the Dead Sea is very different from that of ocean water. The exact composition of the Dead Sea water varies mainly with season, depth and temperature. In the early 1980s, the concentration of ionic species (in g/kg) of Dead Sea surface water was Cl (181.4), Br (4.2), SO42− (0.4), HCO3 (0.2), Ca2+ (14.1), Na+ (32.5), K+ (6.2) and Mg2+ (35.2). The total salinity was 276 g/kg. These results show that the composition of the salt, as anhydrous chlorides on a weight percentage basis, was calcium chloride
Calcium chloride
Calcium chloride, CaCl2, is a salt of calcium and chlorine. It behaves as a typical ionic halide, and is solid at room temperature. Common applications include brine for refrigeration plants, ice and dust control on roads, and desiccation...

 (CaCl2) 14.4%, potassium chloride
Potassium chloride
The chemical compound potassium chloride is a metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. In its pure state, it is odorless and has a white or colorless vitreous crystal appearance, with a crystal structure that cleaves easily in three directions. Potassium chloride crystals are...

 (KCl) 4.4%, magnesium chloride
Magnesium chloride
Magnesium chloride is the name for the chemical compounds with the formulas MgCl2 and its various hydrates MgCl2x. These salts are typical ionic halides, being highly soluble in water. The hydrated magnesium chloride can be extracted from brine or sea water...

 (MgCl2) 50.8% and sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

 (common salt, NaCl) 30.4%. In comparison, the salt in the water of most ocean
Ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

s and sea
Sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...

s is approximately 97% sodium chloride
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

. The concentration of sulfate
Sulfate
In inorganic chemistry, a sulfate is a salt of sulfuric acid.-Chemical properties:...

 ions (SO42−) is very low, and the concentration of bromide
Bromide
A bromide is a chemical compound containing bromide ion, that is bromine atom with effective charge of −1. The class name can include ionic compounds such as caesium bromide or covalent compounds such as sulfur dibromide.-Natural occurrence:...

 ions (Br) is the highest of all waters on Earth. The sea itself is abundant in minerals acclaimed to have therapeutic value.

The salt concentration of the Dead Sea fluctuates around 31.5%. This is unusually high and results in a nominal density of 1.24 kg/l. Anyone can easily float in the Dead Sea because of natural buoyancy
Buoyancy
In physics, buoyancy is a force exerted by a fluid that opposes an object's weight. In a column of fluid, pressure increases with depth as a result of the weight of the overlying fluid. Thus a column of fluid, or an object submerged in the fluid, experiences greater pressure at the bottom of the...

. In this respect the Dead Sea is similar to the Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, the fourth-largest terminal lake in the world. In an average year the lake covers an area of around , but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its...

 in Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

An unusual feature of the Dead Sea is its discharge of asphalt
Asphalt
Asphalt or , also known as bitumen, is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits, it is a substance classed as a pitch...

. From deep seeps, the Dead Sea constantly spits up small pebbles and blocks of the black substance. Asphalt coated figurines and bitumen coated Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 skulls from archaeological sites have been found. Egyptian
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 mummification processes used asphalt imported from the Dead Sea region.

Health effects and therapies


The Dead Sea area has become a major center for health
Health
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person's mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain...

 research
Research
Research can be defined as the scientific search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method...

 and treatment for several reasons. The mineral content of the water, the very low content of pollen
Pollen
Pollen is a fine to coarse powder containing the microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce the male gametes . Pollen grains have a hard coat that protects the sperm cells during the process of their movement from the stamens to the pistil of flowering plants or from the male cone to the...

s and other allergen
Allergen
An allergen is any substance that can cause an allergy. In technical terms, an allergen is a non-parasitic antigen capable of stimulating a type-I hypersensitivity reaction in atopic individuals....

s in the atmosphere
Earth's atmosphere
The atmosphere of Earth is a layer of gases surrounding the planet Earth that is retained by Earth's gravity. The atmosphere protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet solar radiation, warming the surface through heat retention , and reducing temperature extremes between day and night...

, the reduced ultraviolet
Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV...

 component of solar radiation
Sunlight
Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

, and the higher atmospheric pressure at this great depth each have specific health effect
Health effect
Health effects are changes in health resulting from exposure to a source. Health effects are an important consideration in many areas, such as hygiene, pollution studies, workplace safety, nutrition and health sciences in general...

s. For example, persons suffering reduced respiratory
Respiration (physiology)
'In physiology, respiration is defined as the transport of oxygen from the outside air to the cells within tissues, and the transport of carbon dioxide in the opposite direction...

 function from disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

s such as cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic disease affecting most critically the lungs, and also the pancreas, liver, and intestine...

 seem to benefit from the increased atmospheric pressure.

The region's climate and low elevation have made it a popular center for several types of therapies:
  • Climatotherapy
    Climatotherapy
    Climatotherapy refers to temporary or permanent relocation of a patient to a region with a climate more favourable to recovery from or management of a condition...

    : Treatment which exploits local climatic features such as temperature
    Temperature
    Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

    , humidity
    Humidity
    Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

    , sunshine
    Sunlight
    Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

    , barometric pressure
    Atmospheric pressure
    Atmospheric pressure is the force per unit area exerted into a surface by the weight of air above that surface in the atmosphere of Earth . In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the weight of air above the measurement point...

     and special atmospheric constituents
  • Heliotherapy
    Light therapy
    Light therapy or phototherapy consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light using lasers, light-emitting diodes, fluorescent lamps, dichroic lamps or very bright, full-spectrum light, usually controlled with various devices...

    : Treatment that exploits the biological effects of the sun's
    Sun
    The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

     radiation
  • Thalassotherapy
    Thalassotherapy
    Thalassotherapy is the unproven medical use of seawater as a form of therapy. The properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin. Thalassotherapy was developed in seaside towns in Brittany, France during the 19th century...

    : Treatment that exploits bathing in Dead Sea water
    Water
    Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...


Treatment for Psoriasis


Climatotherapy at the Dead Sea is an effective therapy for patients with the skin disorder psoriasis
Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system mistakes the skin cells as a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious. However, psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of...

, which also benefit from the ability to sunbathe for long periods in the area due to its position below sea level and subsequent result that many of the sun's harmful UV rays are reduced.

Treatment for Rhinosinusitis


Rhinosinusitis patients receiving Dead Sea saline nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation or nasal lavage or nose douche is the personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. The practice is well-tolerated and beneficial with only minor side effects...

 exhibited significantly better symptom relief compared to standard hypertonic saline spray.

Treatment for Osteoarthritis


Dead Sea Mud pack therapy has been suggested to temporarily relieve pain in patients with osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease, is a group of mechanical abnormalities involving degradation of joints, including articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Symptoms may include joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, locking, and sometimes an effusion...

 of the knees. According to researchers of the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, treatment with mineral-rich mud compresses can be used to augment conventional medical therapy in these patients.

Fauna and flora



The sea is called "dead" because its high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plant
Aquatic plant
Aquatic plants are plants that have adapted to living in aquatic environments. They are also referred to as hydrophytes or aquatic macrophytes. These plants require special adaptations for living submerged in water, or at the water's surface. Aquatic plants can only grow in water or in soil that is...

s, from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi are present.

In times of flood, the salt content of the Dead Sea can drop from its usual 35% salinity to 30% or lower. The Dead Sea temporarily comes to life in the wake of rainy winters. In 1980, after one such rainy winter, the normally dark blue Dead Sea turned red. Researchers from Hebrew University
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

 found the Dead Sea to be teeming with a type of algae
Algae
Algae are a large and diverse group of simple, typically autotrophic organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelps that grow to 65 meters in length. They are photosynthetic like plants, and "simple" because their tissues are not organized into the many...

 called Dunaliella
Dunaliella
Dunaliella is a genus of algae, specifically of the Dunaliellaceae.Dunaliella sp. are motile, unicellular, rod to ovoid shaped green algae , which are common in marine waters....

. The Dunaliella in turn nourished carotenoid-containing
Carotenoid
Carotenoids are tetraterpenoid organic pigments that are naturally occurring in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of plants and some other photosynthetic organisms like algae, some bacteria, and some types of fungus. Carotenoids can be synthesized fats and other basic organic metabolic building...

 (red-pigment
Pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

ed) halobacteria
Halobacteria
In taxonomy, the Halobacteria are a class of the Euryarchaeota, found in water saturated or nearly saturated with salt. They are also called halophiles, though this name is also used for other organisms which live in somewhat less concentrated salt water...

, whose presence caused the color change. Since 1980, the Dead Sea basin has been dry and the algae and the bacteria have not returned in measurable numbers.

Many animal species live in the mountains surrounding the Dead Sea. Hikers can see camel
Camel
A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as humps on its back. There are two species of camels: the dromedary or Arabian camel has a single hump, and the bactrian has two humps. Dromedaries are native to the dry desert areas of West Asia,...

s, ibex, hare
Hare
Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares less than one year old are called leverets. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare , and three species known as red rock hares .Hares are very fast-moving...

s, hyrax
Hyrax
A hyrax is any of four species of fairly small, thickset, herbivorous mammals in the order Hyracoidea. The rock hyrax Procavia capensis, the yellow-spotted rock hyrax Heterohyrax brucei, the western tree hyrax Dendrohyrax dorsalis, and the southern tree hyrax, Dendrohyrax arboreus live in Africa...

es, jackal
Jackal
Although the word jackal has been historically used to refer to many small- to medium-sized species of the wolf genus of mammals, Canis, today it most properly and commonly refers to three species: the black-backed jackal and the side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan Africa, and the golden jackal of...

s, fox
Fox
Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids , characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail .Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to...

es, and even leopard
Arabian leopard
The Arabian leopard is a leopard subspecies native to the Arabian Peninsula and classified as critically endangered by IUCN since 1996. Less than 200 animals remained in 2006...

s. Hundreds of bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 species inhabit the zone as well. Both Jordan and Israel have established nature reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

s around the Dead Sea.

The delta of the Jordan River was formerly a veritable jungle
Jungle
A Jungle is an area of land in the tropics overgrown with dense vegetation.The word jungle originates from the Sanskrit word jangala which referred to uncultivated land. Although the Sanskrit word refers to "dry land", it has been suggested that an Anglo-Indian interpretation led to its...

 of papyrus
Cyperus papyrus
Cyperus papyrus is a monocot belonging to the sedge family Cyperaceae. It is a herbaceous perennial native to Africa, and forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water....

 and palm tree
Arecaceae
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...

s. Flavius Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 described Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

 as "the most fertile spot in Judea
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

". In Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 times, sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

, henna
Henna
Henna is a flowering plant used since antiquity to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather and wool. The name is also used for dye preparations derived from the plant, and for the art of temporary tattooing based on those dyes...

, and sycamore fig
Ficus sycomorus
Ficus sycomorus, called the sycamore fig or the fig-mulberry , sycamore, or sycomore, is a fig species that has been cultivated since ancient times...

 all made the lower Jordan valley quite wealthy. One of the most valuable products produced by Jericho was the sap
Balsam of Mecca
Balsam of Mecca is a resinous gum of the tree Commiphora gileadensis , native to southern Arabia and also naturalized, in ancient and again in modern times, in ancient Judea/Palestine/Israel. The most famous site of balsam production in the region was the Jewish town of Ein Gedi...

 of the balsam
Commiphora
Commiphora is a genus of flowering plants in the family Burseraceae. It includes about 185 species of trees and shrubs, often armed or thorny, native to Africa, Arabia, and the Indian subcontinent.-Uses:...

 tree, which could be made into perfume
Perfume
Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and/or aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent"...

. However, by the 19th century, Jericho's fertility had disappeared.

Human settlement


There are several small communities near the Dead Sea. These include Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi is an oasis in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the caves of Qumran.-Etymology:The name En-gedi is composed of two Hebrew words: ein means spring and gdi means goat-kid. En Gedi thus means "Kid spring."...

, Neve Zohar
Neve Zohar
Neve Zohar is a communal village in the South District of Israel, and the capital of the Tamar Regional Council. It is located on the junction of Highway 31 and Highway 90 , on the shores of the Dead Sea and 23 km from Arad by road...

 and the Israeli settlement
Israeli settlement
An Israeli settlement is a Jewish civilian community built on land that was captured by Israel from Jordan, Egypt, and Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and is considered occupied territory by the international community. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank...

s in the Megilot Regional Council
Megilot Regional Council
Megilot Regional Council , also Megilot Dead Sea Regional Council, is a regional council in the Judean desert near the western shores of the Dead Sea. With only and 1,000 residents, it is Israel's smallest regional council. Its municipal offices are located in Vered Yeriho.-Etymology:The name...

: Kalya, Mitzpe Shalem
Mitzpe Shalem
Mitzpe Shalem is an Israeli settlement and kibbutz located about 1 km from the western shores of the Dead Sea in the eastern West Bank. It is the southernmost community in the Megilot Regional Council and is located near Highway 90 about north of Ein Gedi and north of the Green Line.The...

 and Avnat
Avnat
Avnat is a small Israeli settlement in the West Bank on the western shore of the Dead Sea, about south of Kalya and north of Mitzpe Shalem. It falls under the jurisdiction of Megilot Regional Council....

. There is a nature preserve at Ein Gedi, and several Dead Sea hotels are located on the southwest end at Ein Bokek
Ein Bokek
Ein Bokek is a hotel and resort district on the Israeli shore of the Dead Sea, near Neve Zohar. It is under the jurisdiction of the Tamar Regional Council....

 near Neve Zohar. Highway 90 runs north-south on the Israeli side for a total distance of 565 km from Metula
Metula
Metula is a town in the Northern District of Israel. Metula is located between the sites of the Biblical cities of Dan, Abel Bet Maacah, and Ijon, bordering Lebanon.-Early history:...

 on the Lebanese border in the north to its southern terminus at the Egyptian border near the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 port of Eilat.

Potash City
Potash City
Potash City is a small town in Jordan near the southeastern shore of the Dead Sea. It is located near the salt mining facilities of the Arab Potash company.-External links:**...

 is a small community on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. Highway 65
Highway 65 (Jordan)
Highway 65 in Jordan is also known as the King's Highway runs in Jordan south to north. It starts in Aqaba passing through Wadi Araba, and adjacent to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley to the western suburbs of the city of Irbid in Jordan's northern tip. It is over 5,000 years old. This highway...

 runs north-south on the Jordanian side.

Hebrew Bible


Just north of the Dead Sea is Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

. Somewhere, perhaps on the southeastern shore, would be the cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis which were said to have been destroyed in the time of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

: Sodom and Gomorra
Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and later expounded upon throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and Deuterocanonical sources....

 (Genesis 18) and the three other "Cities of the Plain" - Admah
Admah
Admah was one of the pentapolis of the Vale of Siddim. It was destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah. It is supposed by some to be the same as the "Adam" of Joshua 3:16, the name of which still lingers in Damieh, a ford of the Jordan river....

, Zeboim and Zoar
Zoara
Zoara, the biblical Zoar, previously called Bela, was one of the five cities of the plain of Jordan in Genesis in the Tanakh or Old Testament, which escaped the "brimstone and fire" which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, for having sheltered Lot and his daughters...

 (Deuteronomy 29:23). Zoar escaped destruction when Abraham's nephew Lot
Lot (Bible)
Lot is a man from the Book of Genesis chapters 11-14 and 19, in the Hebrew Bible. Notable episodes in his life include his travels with his uncle Abram ; his flight from the destruction of Sodom, in the course of which Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt; and the seduction by his...

 escaped to Zoar from Sodom (Genesis 19:21-22). Before the destruction, the Dead Sea was a valley full of natural tar pit
Tar pit
A tar pit, or more accurately known as an asphalt pit or asphalt lake, is a geological occurrence where subterranean bitumen leaks to the surface, creating a large area of natural asphalt.-Known tar pits:...

s, which was called the vale of Siddim. King David was said to have hidden from Saul
Saul
-People:Saul is a given/first name in English, the Anglicized form of the Hebrew name Shaul from the Hebrew Bible:* Saul , including people with this given namein the Bible:* Saul , a king of Edom...

 at Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi is an oasis in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the caves of Qumran.-Etymology:The name En-gedi is composed of two Hebrew words: ein means spring and gdi means goat-kid. En Gedi thus means "Kid spring."...

 nearby.

In there is a specific prophecy that the sea will ".. be healed and made fresh", becoming a normal lake capable of supporting marine life
Marine biology
Marine biology is the scientific study of organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackish bodies of water. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather...

. A similar prophecy is stated in , which says that "Living waters will go out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea (likely the Dead Sea) and half to the western sea (the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

)..."

History



Second Temple period


Dwelling in caves near the Dead Sea is recorded in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 as having taken place before the Israelites came to Canaan, and extensively at the time of King David. Various sects of Jews settled in caves overlooking the Dead Sea. The best known of these are the Essenes
Essenes
The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests...

 of Qumran
Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

, who left an extensive library known as the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

. The town of Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi
Ein Gedi is an oasis in Israel, located west of the Dead Sea, near Masada and the caves of Qumran.-Etymology:The name En-gedi is composed of two Hebrew words: ein means spring and gdi means goat-kid. En Gedi thus means "Kid spring."...

, mentioned many times in the Mishna, produced persimmon
Persimmon
A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros in the ebony wood family . The word Diospyros means "the fire of Zeus" in ancient Greek. As a tree, it is a perennial plant...

 for the temple's fragrance and for export, using a secret recipe. "Sodomite salt" was an essential mineral for the temple's holy incense, but was said to be dangerous for home use and could cause blindness. The Roman camps surrounding Masada
Masada
Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau, or horst, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada is best known for the violence that occurred there in the first century CE...

 were built by Jewish slaves receiving water from the towns around the lake. These towns had drinking water from the Ein Feshcha springs and other sweetwater springs in the vicinity.

Ancient Greek period


The Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 knew the Dead Sea as "Lake Asphaltites", due to the naturally surfacing asphalt
Asphalt
Asphalt or , also known as bitumen, is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits, it is a substance classed as a pitch...

. Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 wrote about the remarkable waters. Later, the Nabatean
Nabataeans
Thamudi3.jpgThe Nabataeans, also Nabateans , were ancient peoples of southern Canaan and the northern part of Arabia, whose oasis settlements in the time of Josephus , gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates to the Red Sea...

s discovered the value of bitumen extracted from the Dead Sea needed by the Egyptians for embalming
Embalming
Embalming, in most modern cultures, is the art and science of temporarily preserving human remains to forestall decomposition and to make them suitable for public display at a funeral. The three goals of embalming are thus sanitization, presentation and preservation of a corpse to achieve this...

 their mummies
Mummy
A mummy is a body, human or animal, whose skin and organs have been preserved by either intentional or incidental exposure to chemicals, extreme coldness , very low humidity, or lack of air when bodies are submerged in bogs, so that the recovered body will not decay further if kept in cool and dry...

.

Herodian period


King Herod the Great
Herod the Great
Herod , also known as Herod the Great , was a Roman client king of Judea. His epithet of "the Great" is widely disputed as he is described as "a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis." He is also known for his colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere, including his...

 built or rebuilt several fortresses and palaces on the western bank of the Dead Sea. The most famous was Masada
Masada
Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau, or horst, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada is best known for the violence that occurred there in the first century CE...

, where, in 70-73 CE, a small group of Jewish zealots
Zealotry
Zealotry was originally a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Iudaea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy land by force of arms, most notably during the Great Jewish Revolt...

 held out against the might of the Roman legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

, and Machaerus
Machaerus
Machaerus is a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan fifteen miles southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river on the eastern side of the Dead Sea...

 where, according to Josephus, John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 was imprisoned by Herod Antipas
Herod Antipas
Herod Antipater , known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century AD ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch...

 and died.

Also in Roman times, some Essenes
Essenes
The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE which some scholars claim seceded from the Zadokite priests...

 settled on the Dead Sea's western shore; Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 identifies their location with the words, "on the west side of the Dead Sea, away from the coast ... [above] the town of Engeda" (Natural History, Bk 5.73); and it is therefore a hugely popular but contested hypothesis today, that same Essenes are identical with the settlers at Qumran
Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

 and that "the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

" discovered during the 20th century in the nearby caves had been their own library.



In the Bible, the Dead Sea is called the Salt Sea, the Sea of the Arabah, and the Eastern Sea. The designation “Dead Sea” is a modern name which never appears in the Bible. The Dead Sea basin is another part of the Great Rift Valley. It is here that the Upper Jordan River/Sea of Galilee/Lower Jordan River water system comes to an end. Intimately connected with the Judean wilderness to its northwest and west, the Dead Sea was a place of escape and refuge. The remoteness of the region attracted Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

 monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

s since the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 era. Their monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

, such as Saint George
Saint George
Saint George was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic , Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox...

 in Wadi Kelt and Mar Saba
Mar Saba
The Great Lavra of St. Sabbas the Sanctified, known in Arabic as Mar Saba , is a Greek Orthodox monastery overlooking the Kidron Valley in the West Bank east of Bethlehem. The traditional date for the founding of the monastery by Saint Sabas of Cappadocia is the year 483 and today houses around 20...

 in the Judean Desert
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

, are places of pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

.

Modern times


Explorers and scientists arrived in the area to analyze the minerals and research the unique climate. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, hundreds of religious documents dated between 150 BCE and 70 CE were found in caves near the ancient settlement of Qumran
Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

, about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea (presently in the West Bank). They became known and famous as the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

. A golf course
Golf course
A golf course comprises a series of holes, each consisting of a teeing ground, fairway, rough and other hazards, and a green with a flagstick and cup, all designed for the game of golf. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, thus most golf courses have this number of holes...

 named for Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and later expounded upon throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and Deuterocanonical sources....

 was built by the British at Kalia on the northern shore.

The world's lowest road, Highway 90, runs along the Israeli and West Bank shores of the Dead Sea at 393 m (1,289 ft) below sea level.

The first major hotels were built in nearby Arad, and since the 1960s at the Neve Zohar
Neve Zohar
Neve Zohar is a communal village in the South District of Israel, and the capital of the Tamar Regional Council. It is located on the junction of Highway 31 and Highway 90 , on the shores of the Dead Sea and 23 km from Arad by road...

 resort complex. On Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian side, three international franchises have opened seaside resort
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

 hotel
Hotel
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms...

s near the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center
King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center
The King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center is a convention center and meeting venue in Jordan, named for Hussein I, King of Jordan from 1952 to 1999. The KHBTCC is on the east coast of the Dead Sea approximately southwest from Amman, Jordan. The center opened in 2004, with a total area of ,...

 along the eastern coast of the Dead Sea.

Industry




In the early part of the 20th century, the Dead Sea began to attract interest from chemists who deduced the Sea was a natural deposit of potash
Potash
Potash is the common name for various mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form. In some rare cases, potash can be formed with traces of organic materials such as plant remains, and this was the major historical source for it before the industrial era...

 and bromine
Bromine
Bromine ") is a chemical element with the symbol Br, an atomic number of 35, and an atomic mass of 79.904. It is in the halogen element group. The element was isolated independently by two chemists, Carl Jacob Löwig and Antoine Jerome Balard, in 1825–1826...

. The Palestine Potash Company was chartered in 1929, after its founder, Siberian Jewish engineer and pioneer of Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal is the world's oldest at 30 million years old and deepest lake with an average depth of 744.4 metres.Located in the south of the Russian region of Siberia, between Irkutsk Oblast to the northwest and the Buryat Republic to the southeast, it is the most voluminous freshwater lake in the...

 exploitation Moses Novomeysky
Moshe Novomeysky
Moshe Novomeysky was an early Israeli pioneer, scientist, and developer of the Palestine Potash Company, precursor of the Dead Sea Works. -Biography:...

, worked for the charter ex for over ten years. The first plant was on the north shore of the Dead Sea at Kalia and produced potash, or potassium chloride, by solar evaporation of the brine. Employing Arabs and Jews, it was an island of peace in turbulent times. The company quickly grew into the largest industrial site in the Middle East, and in 1934 built a second plant on the southwest shore, in the Mount Sodom area, south of the 'Lashon' region
Lisan Peninsula
The Lisan Peninsula is a large spit of land which now separates the North and the South basins of the Dead Sea. Its name is Arabic for "tongue." The peninsula, located entirely within Jordanian territory, separates the northern section of the Dead Sea from its shallow southern part...

 of the Dead Sea. Palestine Potash Company supplied half of Britain's potash during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, but ultimately became a casualty of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Its remnants were nationalised and Dead Sea Works Ltd.
Dead Sea Works
The Dead Sea Works is an Israeli potash plant in Sdom, on the Dead Sea coast of Israel.-History:The company was established in 1930 by Moshe Novomeysky. It was known then as the Palestine Potash Company...

 was established in 1952 in its stead as a state-owned company
Government-owned corporation
A government-owned corporation, state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, or parastatal is a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government...

 to extract potash and other minerals from the Dead Sea.

From the Dead Sea brine, Israel produces (2001) 1.77 million ton
Ton
The ton is a unit of measure. It has a long history and has acquired a number of meanings and uses over the years. It is used principally as a unit of weight, and as a unit of volume. It can also be used as a measure of energy, for truck classification, or as a colloquial term.It is derived from...

s potash, 206,000 tons elemental bromine, 44,900 tons caustic soda, 25,000 tons magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

 metal, and sodium chloride. On the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, Arab Potash
Arab Potash
Arab Potash is a company that is primarily involved in harvesting minerals from the Dead Sea. The company was formed in 1956 as a pan-Arab business venture and has a 100-year concession from the government of Jordan to manufacture and market mineral products derived from the Dead Sea. It is...

 (APC), formed in 1956, produces 2.0 million tons of potash annually, as well as sodium chloride and bromine. Both companies use extensive salt evaporation pan
Pan evaporation
Pan evaporation is a measurement that combines or integrates the effects of several climate elements: temperature, humidity, rain fall, drought dispersion, solar radiation, and wind. Evaporation is greatest on hot, windy, dry days; and is greatly reduced when air is cool, calm, and humid...

s that have essentially diked the entire southern end of the Dead Sea for the purpose of producing carnallite
Carnallite
Carnallite is an evaporite mineral, a hydrated potassium magnesium chloride with formula: KMgCl3·6. It is variably colored yellow to white, reddish, and sometimes colorless or blue. It is usually massive to fibrous with rare pseudohexagonal orthorhombic crystals...

, potassium magnesium chloride, which is then processed further to produce potassium chloride. The ponds
Salt evaporation pond
Salt evaporation ponds, also called salterns or salt pans, are shallow artificial ponds designed to produce salts from sea water or other brines. The seawater or brine is fed into large ponds and water is drawn out through natural evaporation which allows the salt to be subsequently harvested...

 are separated by a central dike that runs—roughly north-south—along the international border. The power plant
Power station
A power station is an industrial facility for the generation of electric energy....

 on the Israeli side allows production of magnesium metal (by a subsidiary, Dead Sea Magnesium Ltd.).

Due to the popularity of the sea's therapeutic and healing properties, several companies have also shown interest in the manufacturing and supplying of Dead Sea salts as raw materials for body and skin care products.

Recession and environmental concerns


In recent decades, the Dead Sea has been rapidly shrinking because of diversion of incoming water from the Jordan River to the north. The southern end is fed by a canal maintained by the Dead Sea Works, a company that converts the sea's raw materials. From a depression of 395 m (1,296 ft) below sea level in 1970 it fell 22 m (72 ft) to 418 m (1,371 ft) below sea level in 2006, reaching a drop rate of 1 m (3 ft) per year. As the water level decreases, the characteristics of the Sea and surrounding region may substantially change.

The Dead Sea level drop has been followed by a groundwater
Groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

 level drop, causing brines that used to occupy underground layers near the shoreline to be flushed out by freshwater. This is believed to be the cause of the recent appearance of large sinkhole
Sinkhole
A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused by karst processes — the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes for example in sandstone...

s along the western shore — incoming freshwater dissolves salt layers, rapidly creating subsurface cavities that subsequently collapse to form these sinkholes.

In May 2009 at the World Economic Forum, Jordan announced its plans to construct the "Jordan National Red Sea Development Project" (JRSP). This is a plan to convey seawater from the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 near Aqaba to the Dead Sea. Water would be desalinated along the route to provide fresh water to Jordan, with the brine discharge sent to the Dead Sea for replenishment. As of 2009, the project is in its early phases of planning, with developer and financier selection to be completed by year's end. The project is anticipated to begin detailed design in early 2010, with water delivery by 2017. Israel has expressed its support and will likely benefit from some of the water delivery to its Negev region. Some hydro-power will be collected near the Dead Sea from the dramatic change in elevation on the downhill side of the project. In October 2009, the Jordanians announced accelerated plans to extract around 300 million cubic meters of water per year from the Red Sea, desalinate it for use as fresh water and send the waste water to the Dead Sea by tunnel, despite concerns about inadequate time to assess the potential environmental impact.

At a regional conference in July 2009, officials expressed increased concerns that water levels are dropping. Some suggested various industrial activities around the Dead Sea might need to be reduced. Others advised a range of possible environmental measures to restore conditions. This might include increasing the volume of flow from the Jordan River to replenish the Dead Sea. Currently, only sewage and effluent from fish ponds run in the river's channel. Experts also asserted a need for strict conservation efforts. They also said agriculture should not be expanded, sustainable support capabilities should be incorporated into the area and pollution sources should be reduced.

See also

  • Dead Sea Canal
    Dead Sea canal
    The Mediterranean-Dead Sea canal is a proposed project to dig a canal from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea, taking advantage of the 400-metre difference in water level between the seas. It is not to be confused with the Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal . The project could correct the drop in the level...

  • Dead Sea Works
    Dead Sea Works
    The Dead Sea Works is an Israeli potash plant in Sdom, on the Dead Sea coast of Israel.-History:The company was established in 1930 by Moshe Novomeysky. It was known then as the Palestine Potash Company...

  • Great Salt Lake
    Great Salt Lake
    The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, the fourth-largest terminal lake in the world. In an average year the lake covers an area of around , but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its...

  • List of places on land with elevations below sea level
  • Two Seas Canal
    Two Seas Canal
    The Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal is a proposed canal which would run from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and provide electricity and potable water to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This proposal has a major role in plans for economic cooperation between Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians,...

  • Benjamin Elazari Volcani
    Benjamin Elazari Volcani
    Benjamin Elazari Volcani discovered life in the Dead Sea and pioneered biological silicon research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.-Biography:...

  • World Discoveries III: Dead Sea
    World Discoveries III: Dead Sea
    World Discoveries III: Dead Sea is a 1999 documentary that takes an indepth look at the Dead Sea, which is a lake on the border between Israel and Jordan. At 8.6 times saltier than the ocean, the Dead Sea is so salty fish can't swim in it, boats can't sail on it, and animals can't survive around it...


Further reading

  • Yehouda Enzel, et al., eds (2006) New Frontiers in Dead Sea Paleoenvironmental Research, Geological Society of America, ISBN 0-8137-2401-5
  • Niemi, Tina M., Ben-Avraham, Z., and Gat, J., eds., 1997, The Dead Sea: The Lake and Its Setting: N.Y., Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

    , 286 p.

External links