Green Dead Sea Sinkhole
July 30, 2013
Photographer: Menashe Davidson
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson
When the water level of the Dead Sea drops groundwater from adjacent aquifers flows in to replace it. This fresh water meets a layer of rocky salts and dissolves it, creating an underground void. The surface usually stays intact until there's no longer sufficient support, a sudden collapse will then often occur.
As I walked the flat and barren landscape near the Kane Nature Reserve I saw several sinkholes some with salty water inside and some dry. But there was very little evidence of life visible to me. Then, one sinkhole attracted my attention because of its vivid green color. There are two plant species found in this harsh region that will thrive if a supply of groundwater is available: tamarisk (Tamarix marismortui) and a common reed (Phragmatis communis). Their presence is proof that there’s at least some fresh water beneath them. Tamarisks have long taproots permitting them to intercept deep water tables. The reed plant is a halophyte, tolerating both brackish water and alkaline habitats. Photo taken on January 13, 2013.
Photo details: Camera Model: NIKON D80; Focal Length: 22.0mm (35mm equivalent: 33mm); Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.013 s (1/80); ISO equiv: 100.