Jordan: Dead Sea
Orbit 34494 (ascending) Frame 621 November 24, 2001 19:58 GMT
The image, derived from a night acquisition, shows the Dead Sea. This is both the saltiest body of water in the world,
with a nine times higher concentration of salt than the ocean, and the lowest body of water on Earth, lying 397 m below sea level.
Situated at the mouth of the Jordan river, the lake has no outlet and forms part of the border between Jordan and Israel.
The Arabs call it Bahr Lut, i.e. the Sea of Lot.
Its bottom appears to be still subsiding.
Several smaller streams pour into the sea
from the East, thus bringing a heavy influx of fresh water, that evaporates due to the area's extreme heat.
The high saltiness kills animal and plant life, and fish carried in by the Jordan soon die.
The Dead Sea is economically important as a source of potash, bromine, gypsum, salt and other chemical products.
According to biblical history, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are believed to lie beneath the lake.
Top right: Jordan River's mouth and, along the river, a thick texture of agricultural fields irrigated by it.
Left and right: rocky and barren land surrounds the Dead Sea. Steep cliffs rise above its Eastern and
Western banks, where light, cool wind currents originating from the several valleys can be detected.
Bottom centre: the Al Lisan peninsula dividing the lake into a large Northern basin, and a smaller Southern basin.
Here, one can see the structure of salt pans crossed vertically by a canal.
Click on the thumbnail image to see a higher resolution version of this image;
a very high resolution image, 2007 x 2004 pixels, 1877531 bytes, is also available.
Keywords: ESA European
Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne,
observation de la terre, earth observation,
satellite remote sensing,
teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar,
chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar,