Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 17, 2010
An international team of scientists has begun drilling deep below the Dead Sea in an effort to extract material that could provide an unusual look at Earth's history over the past 500,000 years.
The project aims to examine the layers of sediment left behind beneath the lowest place on Earth over the course of millions of years, providing clues about shifting weather patterns, seismic activity and climate change.
"The sediments ... provide an 'archive' on the environmental conditions that existed in the area in its geological past," the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, a partner in the project, said on Wednesday.
The thin slice of Earth's history will be extracted via a 1,200-metre (3,937-foot) deep borehole being drilled by a special rig that has been set up in the northern basin of the Dead Sea.
Once extracted, the layer-cake of soil will be subjected to high-resolution examination by scientists from fields ranging from climate science to chemistry for clues about Earth's changing environment.
Details about severe weather or major seismic activity could even provide insight into human migration in and out of the region.
"We believe that the results of this project will have vast implications in the fields of science and environment and will shed light on new natural resources," Zvi Ben-Avraham, a professor at Tel Aviv University, and Moti Stein, with the Israel Geological Survey, said in a joint statement.
"In addition, a historic hydrogeological-environmental study of the Dead Sea will help unravel the mystery of human cultural evolution in this area," they added.
The project is being sponsored by the International Continental Drilling Programme, a group that has carried out similar probes deep into the Earth's crust at locations around the world.
In an unusual example of regional coordination, the governments of Israel and Jordan, which lies on the east bank of the Dead Sea, as well as the Palestinian Authority are cooperating with the project, which is expected to run until the end of this year.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Dirt, rocks and all the stuff we stand on firmly
Scientific Grand Challenges Identified To Address Global Sustainability
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 15, 2010
The international scientific community has identified five Grand Challenges that, if addressed in the next decade, will deliver knowledge to enable sustainable development, poverty eradication, and environmental protection in the face of global change. The Grand Challenges for Earth system science are the result of broad consultation as part of a visioning process spearheaded by the Intern ... read more
Italy ill-prepared for natural disasters: experts|
Minneapolis Disaster Spawning New Concepts In Bridge Research, Testing And Safety
New Sensor Allows On-Site, Faster Testing For Scour Assessment
China says over 81 million disaster-hit people need aid
Sonar System Inspired By Dolphins
New Technology Gives On-Site Assessments In Archaeology
Breaking The Ice Before It Begins
Thales announces venture for Chinese in-flight systems
Faster Water Flow Means Greater Diversity Of Invertebrate Marine Life
EU nations agree Bluefin tuna compromise
Chinese dams not to blame for low Mekong levels: Cambodia PM
EU, Japan sketch battle lines in bluefin tuna meet
Drumlin Field Provides Answers About Glaciation And Climate
Delayed ice threatening Canada polar bears
Report warns of dangers of Arctic drilling
Russian Drifting Polar Station SP-38 Opens In Chukchi Sea
Chips bags too noisy for US, but a hit in Canada
Detroit's Urban Farms Could Provide A Majority Of Produce For Local Residents
African Dust Caused Red Soil In Southern Europe
Algosolar Launches Bioponica
Indonesia volcano death toll rises to 273
Toll from La Nina-fuelled rains in Colombia climbs to 136
Southwest England lashed by floods
Icelandic volcano: Scientists map anatomy of an eruption
Swazi life expectancy halved by AIDS, TB: health charity
Rebel troops claim Madagascar government suspended
Madagascar general says power take-over bid unchanged
Madagascar mutineers in talks
Human Children Outpaced Neanderthals By Slowing Down
Paraguay nixes British expedition to remote tribal region
Origin Of Cells Associated With Nerve Repair Discovered
The Brains Of Neanderthals And Modern Humans Developed Differently
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. 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 SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|