Changes Over Time:
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is located in the Jordan Rift Valley and borders Jordan, Israel, and the West Bank. It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, which makes a harsh environment where animals cannot flourish. Minerals from the sea, however, are being extracted and touted as health benefit products.
These Landsat images show the change in the Dead Sea from 1984 to 2011. In recent decades, the sea has been shrinking due to diversion of water from the Jordan River, the sea’s main tributary. Mineral evaporation ponds that have replaced open water in the southern part of the sea can be seen in the 2011 image.
Presently, the Jordan National Red Sea Development Project is focused on replenishing water levels of the Dead Sea by moving water along a route from the Red Sea. This will provide fresh water to Jordan, and the brine discharge will replenish the Dead Sea. To help the restoration of the sea, industrial activities may be reduced, and strict environmental measures and conservation efforts will be put into place.
Landsat imagery is useful to continually monitor the water levels and help decision makers determine the best course of action.
National Water Information System: Web Interface
U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5011
The Great Salt Lake in Utah
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