September 20, 2013 - Israel - The Dead Sea is drying up at an incredible rate leaving huge chasms of empty space in its wake. These chasms appear in the form of large, devastating sinkholes and are increasing in number throughout the region. Experts claim they are now forming at a rate of nearly one a day, but have no way of knowing when or how they will show up. Estimates by Moment magazine suggest that, on the Israeli side alone, there are now over 3,000 sinkholes around the Dead Sea. This compares to just 40 counted in 1990, with the first sinkhole appearing in the 1980s.
The Dead Sea spans more than 60 miles through Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. Its waters are 10 times saltier than the northern Atlantic Ocean because it has no outlet. This means that any minerals that flow there, stay there. The increase in sinkholes is directly related to the Dead Sea drying up at a rate of one meter per year.
Sinkholes are basically bowl-shaped features that form when an empty space under the ground creates a depression. The depression is the result of a reaction between freshwater and salt buried in a subterranean level beneath the surface. When the freshwater dissolves the salt, it creates a void, causing the landscape around and above it to suddenly collapse. Over the last few decades, increasing numbers of people have been drawn to the Dead Sea causing its salt water to dry up. This leaves more fresh water in the area to dissolve the salt and create more cavities. –Daily Mail
contribution Jenny M.
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