ISRAEL, PART 9: JORDAN RIFT VALLEY: THE NEGEV AND THE DEAD SEA

On the way from Jericho to our next historical site, Masada, our eyes were dazzled by the most spectacular natural scenery.   The area before us took many millions of years to form  and, as only nature can produce, the beauty was overwhelming.  Let’s start with the Jordan Rift Valley:

Forgive me if plate tectonics aren’t your thing – I’ll try to be brief. Tectonic plates are enormous slabs of rock that are in constant motion. They make up the earth’s crust and mantle. Earth’s plates are constantly moving – either diverging or transforming or converging boundaries.  They create mountain ranges, earthquakes, volcanoes and rift valleys. These are what our earth’s tectonic plates look like:

The Jordan Rift Valley was formed  during  in the Miocene period  (23.8 – 5.3 million years  ago) when the Arabian Plate moved northward and then eastward away from Africa.

One million years later, the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan Rift Valley rose so that the sea water stopped flooding the area. The two plates pulled apart from one another and the Jordan Rift Valley was created.

The Dead Sea sits in what is referred to as the Jordan Valley rift system.

The Dead Sea’s salinity is almost at 34% and it is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world.  It is considered dead as only tiny  quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi can live in it. Due to the density of this saltwater, it is almost impossible for a body to sink – more on that in a moment.

I had always thought that the Dead Sea was a sodden, murky body of water due to the salinity. Boy, was I wrong – it is vibrantly hued and its palette changes constantly based on the sun and clouds.  These photos have not been altered:

Mid-morning

Midday

Afternoon

          Sunset

 

And it is indeed hard to sink in it:

Anonymous

After a quick dip and a lovely lunch at a seaside spa resort, we continued on our way, deep into the Negev Desert.  There are almost no words to describe what it is like – it is so vast, and varied  in its own unique way:

 

 

And then we arrived at  Masada.

#

One thought on “ISRAEL, PART 9: JORDAN RIFT VALLEY: THE NEGEV AND THE DEAD SEA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s