The Dead Sea: Past and present
The Dead Sea: Past and Present
By Michael Khadavi
The Dead Sea, the saltiest sea, on Earth is dying. This research paper will explore the past, present and future of the Dead Sea. It will compare the Dead Sea to the Great Salt Lake. You will see how important the Dead Sea is and everything we have done with it. My research paper is focused on three major sections: the Dead Sea and its uses and products, the Red-Dead canal, and comparing the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake.
The Dead Sea is seven times saltier than the ocean. It is the saltiest body of water in the world. If you filled up a container with Dead Sea water and let it evaporate, then a quarter to a third of the container would be salt. The Dead Sea is 400 meters below sea level and falling at a rate of .5 meters annually. Despite its name- the Dead Sea- it is actually a lake. The Dead Sea is unique because we have so many uses of its minerals. We get spa products from the Dead Sea, using its mineral rich soil and water. Using the soil and water in physical therapy has proven to calm down the patient in some cases. The Dead Sea has spa benefits as you can see.
The Dead Sea is full of minerals including potash, bromide, magnesium, salt and other minerals. The factories that extract these minerals from the water are only found near the south basin of the Dead Sea, because in a war between the Israelis and the Arabs, most of the plants that grow the minerals in the North basin were killed. Israel has a large salt-works in Sedom on the southwest shore, because that is where most of the minerals wash-up. Potash is used in fertilizer and bromine is used in dyes, pharmaceuticals, and gasoline. Under the Geneva Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer, Israel must stop the production of bromine by the year 2001, because producing bromine gives off orange smoke that is bad for the ozone layer. Jordan has until the year 2011 to stop their production of bromine because they arent producing a lot of bromine. Israel plans to build a factory in Jordan so they can produce bromine until the year 2011 and not 2001.
The Dead Sea is dying. The reason why the Dead Sea is dying is because the water comes in from the Jordan River (and its tributaries) and the water has nowhere to go so it evaporates allowing the salt to concentrate even more. Factories extracting minerals from the Dead Sea, use evaporation ponds to make the water evaporate even faster so they can get the minerals, and this also speeds up the evaporation so the salt concentrates even more, causing the Dead Sea to be seven times saltier than the ocean. The Dead Sea is now 400 meters below sea level and falling at about .5 meters annually. It is not a good thing that the Dead Sea is dying. The only place Jordan could get water from is the Jordan River, and this leaves less water for the Dead Sea, because Israel also takes water from the Jordan River.
A lot of things depend on the Dead Sea. We (humans) depend on the Dead Sea for salt and minerals. Endangered species also depend on the Dead Sea including Griffon vultures, Lesser kestrals, Black storks, Ein Gedi mole vipers, Blantford foxes, Green toads, Egyptian mongees, Nubian ibexes and Euro-Asian boars. Because a lot of things depend on the Dead Sea, and so it wont die, the Red-Dead canal was proposed. The canal would start at the Red Seas Gulf of Aqaba. It would be pumped up 410 vertical feet to the top of the coastal ridge, and from there it would go downhill 1,750 feet through the Jordan Rift Valley to the Dead Sea.
The canal could be a sign of peace between Israel, Jordan and Palestine. It would create hydroelectricity and a factory would be made to desalinate the water. The factory would be powered by the hydroelectricity, and the water would be more expensive. Mixing the water from the Red Sea with the Dead Sea water could create unpredictable consequences for the sea and the salt extracting factories. The water would be desalinated using the latest reverse osmosis technology. The seawater would be under pressure and would pass through a filter and fresh water would be left behind. The water would go to Israel and Jordan improving the peace between these two former enemies. The project would cost about $5 billion.
If the canal isnt built the Dead Sea is doomed. Israel and Jordan are stealing its water from the Jordan River, and with all the factories that extract the salt, the Dead Sea is evaporating faster than usual. It is estimated that somewhere between 90-120 years the Dead Sea will stop evaporating, but by then it will be dried up.
Besides the Dead Sea there is another famous lake of extremely salty water The Great Salt Lake. Both of these bodies of water take water from rivers called - the Jordan River. Youre probably thinking that the Great Salt Lake is somewhere near the Dead Sea but its not. The Great Salt Lake in the United States, gets its water from the Jordan River in Utah. The Dead Sea gets its water from the Jordan River in Israel. For the Great Salt Lake the water comes from the Utah Lake to the Jordan River (Great Salt Lake Valley), and then to the Great Salt Lake. For the Dead Sea the water comes from the Sea of Galilee to the Jordan River (Jordan River Valley), and then to the Dead Sea. The Jordan River Valley in Israel is 65 miles long, and the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah is 60 miles long. The Great Salt Lake is 4,200 feet above sea level, and as I have said before the Dead Sea is 400 meters below sea level.
The way the Great Salt Lake gets so salty is the same way the Dead Sea is so salty by evaporation and factories. In Utah, Bonneville Ltd. processes 6,000,000 tons of brine every year, and 60 70,000 tons of potash (for fertilizer) annually. Sedom works reaches about 135,000 tons of potash every year. The Dead Sea has enough potash to supply the world for 250 years! So as you can see we have used both bodies of water, not only for ourselves but also commercially. Israel has built a 4-lane road to transport the minerals from the factories near the Dead Sea. We have many uses for the minerals that we get from these 2 bodies of water, including fertilizer, gasoline, dyes, pharmaceuticals, spa benefits, and salt.
The Dead Sea is very important, especially to Israel. I would like to know what you think about the Red-Dead canal. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think about the Red-Dead canal- should it be done?
So as you can see the Dead Sea has been very special to us. We have used it for salt, minerals, spa benefits, and products. The canal will give us unpredictable results and we will see what happens if it goes on. Dont forget to let me know what you think (email@example.com). The Dead Sea is very similar to the Great Salt Lake and I would like to say that we have found great uses for both of these famous lakes.