Mysterious Sinkholes Threaten to Sink the Dead Sea | Green Prophet

Mysterious Sinkholes Threaten to Sink the Dead Sea | Green Prophet.

Watch your step, kibbutzniks and spa-mavens! Diminishing water levels in the Dead Sea are causing changes to surrounding groundwater flows.  Freshwater moves through the aquifer, dissolving subterranean salt deposits and creating underground voids, which cause surface collapse. Dramatic and unpredictable, sinkholes appear at the alarming rate of nearly one a day.

First observed around the Dead Sea in the 1980s, geologist Eli Raz estimates that today there are over 3,000 on the Israeli side alone.  “Sinkholes are caused by human irresponsibility,” he told Slate Magazine, “For more than 30 years, I’ve been trying to warn everyone—especially government officials—that if we don’t do something about the situation in the Dead Sea, the sinkholes will swallow us up.”

The Dead Sea (which is technically a lake fed by the Jordan River) spans more than 60 miles. Its shorelines include Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel.  Located 1,388 feet below sea level, it’s the lowest place on earth,and with no outlet for minerals deposited over millennia, its waters have become ten times saltier than the north Atlantic.