. Earth Science News .

Has the Dead Sea Used Up its Nine Lives?
by Staff Writers
Tel Aviv, Israel (SPX) Apr 13, 2012

Today, the Dead Sea lies 426 meters below sea level and is receding rapidly.

Rapidly dropping water levels of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth's surface heralded for its medicinal properties, has been a source of ecological concern for years.

Now a drilling project led by researchers from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University reveals that water levels have risen and fallen by hundreds of meters over the last 200,000 years.

Directed by Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham of TAU's Minerva Dead Sea Research Center and Prof. Mordechai Stein of the Geological Survey of Israel, researchers drilled 460 meters beneath the sea floor and extracted sediments spanning 200,000 years.

The material recovered revealed the region's past climatic conditions and may allow researchers to forecast future changes.

Layers of salt indicated several periods of dryness and very little rainfall, causing water to recede and salt to gather at the center of the lake.

During the last interglacial period, approximately 120,000 years ago, the sea came close to drying up entirely, the researchers found, with another period of extreme dryness taking place about 13,000 years ago.

Today, the Dead Sea lies 426 meters below sea level and is receding rapidly. Despite this historical precedent, there is still cause for concern, says Prof. Ben-Avraham. In the past the change was climate-driven, the result of natural conditions; today, the lake is threatened by human activity.

"What we see happening in the Middle East is something that mimics a severe dry period, but this is not climate-enforced, this is a man-made phenomenon," he warns, caused by increasing amounts of water being taken from rivers for irrigation before it reaches the Dead Sea.

Ultimately, this prevents the refilling of the sea by the waters of the Jordan River.

For the full story on the Dead Sea drilling project, see the CBS News story here.

Related Links
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

India: reforms needed for water supply
New Delhi (UPI) Apr 10, 2012
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for transparent pricing of the country's water to avert the country's growing water scarcity. Speaking at the opening Tuesday of the India Water Week conference in New Delhi, Singh said inadequate and sub-optimal pricing of both electric power and water is promoting the misuse of groundwater supplies. Indian farmers, many of whom rely o ... read more

Indonesia warns runaway prisoners after quake chaos

Indonesia's disaster-ready schools pass quake test

Canada's aid overhaul ignores the needy: critics

Study: Wildlife survive nuclear accidents

Copper chains: Study reveals Earth's deep-seated hold on copper

Tablet use while watching TV surveyed

Apple denies e-book pricing scheme

How to plaster the world, cheaply!

Has the Dead Sea Used Up its Nine Lives?

Researchers Report Potential for a "Moderate" New England "Red Tide" in 2012

Rising Pacific seas linked to climate change: study

India: reforms needed for water supply

Penguins aplenty in Antarctica, satellite map shows

Long-term studies detect effects of disappearing snow and ice

ESA and NASA join forces to measure Arctic sea ice

Canada, Denmark could split tiny Arctic island

Which plants will survive droughts, climate change?

Fuelling the agricultural energy debate

Climate said threat to Asia's 'Rice Bowl'

'Serious' pesticide threat in former Soviet Union: UN agency

Indonesia revises quake toll to 10 dead

Thieves compromise Indonesian tsunami alert system

Asian tsunami warnings test post-2004 systems

Two strong quakes strike off Mexico: USGS

G.Bissau army says coup bid over secret deal with Angola

ECOWAS council asks regional leaders to okay Mali force

Coup attempt in G.Bissau, attack on PM residence

DR Congo must arrest war crimes suspect: rights group

The Neurogenics of Niceness

Scientists find evidence that human ancestors used fire one million years ago

Newly Discovered Foot Points to a New Kid on the Hominin Block

Burtele Foot Indicates Lucy Not Alone

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement