Wednesday, 2 October 2013
The Dead Sea picture
You didn't seriously expect this to be a picture of me floating? No, this picture was taken facing exactly the other way with the edge of the water (in which it was fun to float) immediately behind me.
Now to the sort of material you are more likely to have expected.
The rift valley between the Judean hills to the west (on which Jerusalem stands) and the Jordanian hills to the east is the result of the tectonic plate on one side moving north and the tectonic plate on the other side moving south. This is still happening at the rate of about 1 cm a year. The Dead Sea sits in the middle of this rift, which has collapsed at this point to well below sea level. The Great Rift Valley of Africa is simply the same rift further south.
So much water is now taken out of the Jordan River that it is hardly a river at all by the time it now fails to feed into the Dead Sea, which is one reason the level of the Dead Sea is falling by about 1 metre a year. However, very recent work to deal with local sewage problems has resulted in pure recycled water being fed into the Jordan again, which means there is better hope that the level of the Dead Sea might stabilise. It also means that those who bring bottles of water taken from the Jordan to use at Baptisms back home won't quite be bringing the water they might have imagined.