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Day 53 – Q 1. What makes the Dead Sea a unique geographic feature? How was it formed? Explain. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • March 24, 2022
  • 0
GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing, World Geography
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1. What makes the Dead Sea a unique geographic feature? How was it formed? Explain. (10 Marks)

मृत सागर को एक अद्वितीय भौगोलिक विशेषता क्या बनाती है? इसका गठन कैसे हुआ? समझाएं।

Approach

Candidates need to write about the Dead sea simply write about the unique geographic feature and it’s formation. 

Introduction 

The Dead Sea, also known as Salt Sea, is located on left side of Jordan and right side of Jerusalem.  Scientists have expressed fear that Dead Sea may disappear because water from its only water source (the Jordan River) has been rushing out of the Dead Sea more than it is moving into the Dead Sea. 

Body 

Dead Sea unique geographic feature:

  • Dead Sea is the lowest waterbody on Earth, with the lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea’s water is about 10 times saltier than normal ocean water.
  • The rocks and sand shimmer at the water’s edge here due to the presence of crystalline sodium chloride. 
  • The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the Dead Sea, forming pools and quicksand pits along the edges. There are no outlet streams.
  • The rich concentration of minerals in its water and mud, zinc, and oxygen-rich air has been clinically proven in the treatment of psoriasis and other skin diseases, asthma, rheumatism, high blood pressure, and more.

Formation of dead Sea:

  • There are contending theories about the Dead Sea formation. About 3.7 million years ago, the area now known as the Jordan River Valley was repeatedly flooded by water from the Mediterranean Sea. 
  • The waters created a lagoon called the Sedom Lagoon, which connected to the sea through what is currently called the Jezreel Valley. Later on, about 2 million years ago, the land between this lagoon and the Mediterranean Sea rose to such an extent, that the sea could no longer flood the area, leading to the creation of a landlocked lake. 
  • Shifts in tectonic plates led to the rising and dropping of the floor of the valley, and the harsh desert climate led to gradual evaporation and shrinking of the lake, until finally, about 70,000 years ago, what remained was the Dead Sea with its low elevation.

Conclusion

Dead Sea is a unique ecosystem and a sensitive barometer of the state of the environment in a part of the world. Water remains a precious commodity in the arid region, agriculture upstream will likely continue to overpower the environmental needs of the Dead Sea in the near term. Artificial solutions like the Red-Dead Conveyance project could provide alternative routes to preserving this unique ecosystem.

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