April 09, 2015
"As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!"
- Genesis 19:17.
But Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. The pillar of salt named Lot's Wife is found on Mount Sodom, near the southwestern part of the Dead Sea in Israel. Mount Sodom is composed almost entirely of halite or rock salt, the mineral form of sodium chloride.
Measurements of Mount Sodom have shown that it rises 5-9 mm per year, the highest rate of rise in Israel. Rock salt has specific properties causing it to rise; namely a tendency to flow because of plasticity and its lower density -- 2.15 ton/cubic meter compared to 2.3 – 2.7 ton/cubic meter typical for other deep rocks in the area.
On the above photo, salt crystal formations can be seen on the surface of the rock faces (inset photos). Salt mixed with other minerals contribute to the beautiful colors of the crystals. Near the top of the pillars, note the horizontal layers of cover rocks composed from gypsum, clay and tiny sand grains. These cover rocks date back to 100,000 - 200,000 years ago when the slowly rising salt pillars passed through a layer of underground water. Photo taken on December 29, 2014.