The Dead Sea 



The Dead Sea is a lake of salted water of Middle East.

Of an approximate surface of 1050 km², its length is of 80 km and its broadest part reaches about 15 km.

The Died Sea occupies a part of the North of the Rift Valley. It is included between the Jordan River valley, in the North, the high plateau of Moab, in the East, which amounts to about 1 340 m above the sea level, the valley of wadi Araba, which leads to the South to the Akaba gulf, and the plateau of Judea, in the West and is bordered by the Jordan, Israel and the Cisjordan.

© Nicolas


On the East shore, a peninsula advances on the lake. In the South of this peninsula, the lake is not very deep : less than 6 m. Its maximum depth situated itself in the North with 400 m. The Dead Sea is fed essentially by the Jourdan River, which flows into the lake by the North. Some streams smaller flows also into the lake, mainly in the East.

The Dead Sea is the lowest extent of water of the world. Like the Aral Sea and the lake Chad, the Dead Sea has lost in fifty years the third of its surface for the most part on account of the overexploitation of its emissary (the Jordan River), its only source of fresh water.


The sea water contains, on average, between 4 and 6% of salt. But the Dead Sea, it, contains it between 23 and 25%. Its sodium rate is of 275 grams per litre of water whereas the sea water contains it about 35 grams per litre. No alive persons can subsist in such as conditions with the exception of some microorganisms. It is thus that the life is very richly represented in the oceans, but that, on the other hand, the Dead Sea is entirely lacking, and not only of fishes, but again, of algas. The sea fishes absorded in these waters quickly meet their death. It's is that was worth it its name of Dead Sea, which the Greeks have given it.

The subsidence of the pluviometry, began about 40000 years ago, has involved because of a very heavy evaporation, a regression of the lake and a constant increase of its salinity. The so-called « water » is a cocktail of salt which largely postpones of the normal salinity of an ocean. Tha magnesium chloride and the potassium chloride form the principal components of this solution. The evaporation, quickly under the arid climate of the desert, involves the stability of the level of the waters.

The specific weight of the Dead Sea is such as an alive person can floats on it without any problem, even if he can't swim.

The lake is closely associated with the Biblical history. The site of towns of Sodom and Gomorrah is traditionally situated in border of the lake, and the Essenes wrote the manuscripts known today under the name of Dead Sea Scrolls in their village situated in border North-West of the lake. The site of the eminence of Masada, the place where the Jewish Zelotes opposed for the first time the Romans in 70-72, is also on the West shore.


Cleopatra practised dirt baths coming from the Dead Sea to preserve her dye. Indeed this dirt permit to sweeten the skin and to render the hair sweeter.



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