Gypsum Quarry Restoration at Ramon Crater

May 05, 2013

Gypsum quarry Ramon Crater (5)

Photographer: Menashe Davidson 
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson

The photo at top shows a partially restored gypsum quarry found on the north side of Ramon Crater, located near the center of the Negev Desert of Israel. The distance from the top of the quarry to the water line is about 50 ft (15 m). Ramon crater is a geological, erosion cirque that formed over a period of approximately 200 million years. Clay, gypsum, bentonite, and sand have all been mined here. After decades of extracting these minerals, obvious wounds marred the unique crater ecosystem. However, an ecological restoration project began in 1998, and as a result, former quarries and quarrying sites have now become a focus for geological sightseeing. Very heavy rains fell in October 2010 (4 in or around 100 mm), draining to the bottom of the restored gypsum quarry. This created a small lake, part of which can be seen above. The lake remained for just a few weeks. Photo taken in late February 2010.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D80; Focal Length: 31.0mm (35mm equivalent: 46mm); Aperture: f/16.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 200.