Dead Sea Not the Lowest Land Elevation

Dead Sea Not the Lowest Land Elevation December 16, 2019

The Jordan River and the Dead Sea to its south are part of the Jordan Depression. This trough with its extension to the south, the Arabah, serves as a geopolitical boundary between the State of Israel and its eastern neighbor Jordan.

The Dead Sea is the saltiest body of water on earth. It’s partly because its surface is over 1,400 feet below sea level. Water from the Jordan River drains into the Dead Sea and remains there, with no outlet. In this hot climate, intense evaporation of the waters of the Dead Sea causes its high salinity content. Salt beds to at southern end of the Dead Sea have been mined there since antiquity, even to the present.

They say it’s nice to get in the water of the Dead Sea and float around, even for people who can’t swim. I’m not that great of a swimmer, so I’d like that. Get a float tube, something to drink, and just chill out catching some warm rays.

It has always been thought that the surface of the Dead Sea is also the lowest elevation on earth. But no more. A new study by glaciologists at the University of California at Irvine reveals that the lowest place on earth is underneath the Denman Glacier in East Antarctica. Oh, well no wonder; nobody could see it!

They say of this new discovery that the trough of ice water under the Denman Glacier is two miles below sea level. The UC team is using radar and satellite imagery to map their new finding. But it’s not easy. Antartica is the size of the U.S. and Mexico combined, and it’s full of ice that is unstable and thus moves around. And East Antartica has way more ice than West Antartica.

As for me, I think I’d rather chill out in the Dead Sea than floating underneath a glacier.

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