The Dead Sea, or ?Sea of Salt? (translated from Hebrew) is a large lake with
extremely salty water situated at the border between Israel and Jordan. It
lies in the deepest part of the intercontinental Jordan rift that was formed
several million years ago as a result of disintegration of Eurasia and Africa.
However, the Dead Sea is of a much more humble age — scientists estimate
that it may range from 20 to 40 thousand years, while the lake has
existed in its current outlines for some 5,000 years. The Dead Sea stretches
from the north to the south for more than 70 km; its width reaches 18 km
and it goes as deep as 350 m at certain spots. Since this is a drainless water
body that has no access to the ocean, it is more correct to say that it’s
a lake, not a sea.
Since recently, the alga has been reared; however, in this case, it loses a part
of its useful properties and active substance concentration decreases.
Biometeorological conditions of the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea lies at a depth of 400 m below the ocean level (this is the lowest
point on earth) in an draftproof basin locked by mountains. This unique
position combined with heavy water and mineral evaporation from the sea
surface resulted in generation of a special ?salt filter? above the basin that
stops hard violet rays. Beaches of the Dead Sea is the only place in the
world where one can take the sun for eight hours a day without a risk to get
severe sunburns. The air there contains a large amount of chlorides and
bromides that produce effect of a twenty-four-hour therapeutic inhalation.
Climate of the Dead Sea is not exposed to huge seasonal and daily temperature
swings. The air and water remain warm virtually the year round.
Even in the coldest month of January, air warms up to 15–20 °C while in
July and August, its temperature reaches 38 °C. Favorable weather conditions
backed up by the soft sun and therapeutic effect of the air, seawater
and sludge muds contribute to the popularity of recreation and treatment at
Dead Sea resorts.
The Dead Sea has the highest salt content among all natural water reservoirs;
the average salt concentration in water is 33% (for comparison: salt
concentration in the Atlantic Ocean is 3.5% and in the Baltic Sea considered
as the sweetest one — 1% at most).
This high salt content is due to a combination of multiple factors. First of
all, a million years ago, the Dead Sea territory was occupied by Lachon —
a sweet lake whose drying resulted in formation of a huge salt deposit more
than two kilometers thick. At the lake’s southern extremity, it crops out to
form an impressive salty rock named Sodom. Besides, due to hot and dry
weather, the Dead Sea features heavy surface evaporation and even despite
water inflow from the Jordan River that feeds it and a host of mineral
springs, the lake’s level is constantly decreasing while the salt concentration
is increasing. According to observation findings, over the recent 100 years,
the coastline has retreated downwards by 40 m. Some experts believe that
in 700–800 years, the Dead Sea will disappear completely.
The Dead Sea is not only unique due to its high salt content, but also due
to the salt composition. While sodium chloride prevails in waters of other
seas (up to 80%), its share in the Dead Sea does not exceed 30%, but its
waters feature high content of magnesium salts (up to 50%), potassium
and calcium chlorides and trace constituents that are very good for human
health, such as zinc, copper, cobalt and many more. Here, concentration of
bromine known for its soothing effect is 80 times as high as in the Atlantic
Resorts and health centers of the Dead Sea have much to offer: comprehensive
procedures intended to treat various disturbances, including skin
diseases (psoriasis, eczema, mycotic lesions, vitiligo, etc.), disorders of the
musculoskeletal system (joints, spine, stroke after-effects, posttraumatic
syndrome) and respiratory disturbances (bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis,
Natural salts and muds of the Dead Sea are very often used as an independent
agent — for wraps, applications, baths and peeling. However, they
have much more applications. Wholesome minerals, archaebacteria biomass
and Dunaliella alga extracts are among ingredients of various cosmetic
preparations for facial, body and hair care: creams, scrubs, masks, soap
and shampoos, massage oils. They delicately cleanse skin, smooth out
wrinkles, restore skin tone, improve drainage and blood supply, reactivate
cellular metabolism. Salts and trace elements are used in the manufacture
of professional skin care products that are successfully used by dermatologists
and cosmetologists in the comprehensive treatment of such grave skin
diseases as psoriasis, seborrhea and acne.