Jordan Valley

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Satellite image of the Jordan Trench with the Sea of ​​Galilee and the Dead Sea

The Jordan Valley ( Arabic غور الأردن, DMG Ġaur al-Urdunn ; Hebrew עמק הירדן) is the north-south rift in the earth's crust in which the Jordan flows.


The Jordan Rift is generally considered to be part of the Great African Rift Valley that continues into the East African Rift . Another theory identifies him as a transform fault on the Dead Sea or English Dead Sea Transform , shortly DST. There the Arab plate has been rubbing against the African plate for an estimated 18 million years . The DST extends over 1,000 km from the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea to the Taurus Mountains . The speed of movement averages 4 mm per year. They are driven by the rift valley in the Red Sea.

The surface of the Dead Sea is 420 m below sea ​​level . The bottom of the Dead Sea reaches 794 m below sea level and consists of sedimentary deposits . Contrary to expectations, these depths were not created by the subsidence of the ground or by widening across the crack, but rather by its jumps to the side and the further movement in the longitudinal direction.

After the southern part of the Dead Sea, the Great African Rift Valley continues in the Arava Depression towards the Red Sea. The Arava Depression is significantly higher than the Dead Sea and prevents an outflow to the south or an inflow from this direction.

Seismic history

The seismic activity in this region is considered to be the most documented in terms of earthquake history. A total of around 30 earthquakes with significant damage are known to have occurred over the past 2200 years. The known written work covers a total period of approx. 4000 years. Both the Old Testament Bible and Roman sources fix a wide variety of observations, which are largely comparable to what has been recorded in recent times. Additional geological research provided clear evidence for an extended period of around 10,000 years.

The faults that occurred repeatedly produced landslides that held up the Jordan for a short time - around 1–2 days. For the past 1000 years, six such events are documented with a date as well as at least one other such event in biblical times. Especially with the earthquake in 1546, there was not only a burial of the Jordan, but also a spring tide ( tsunami ) in the area of ​​the Red Sea. With other quakes even strong fortress walls were overturned ( Jericho , Massada ) or important cisterns were destroyed, so that the affected cities had to be abandoned for decades. Elsewhere, the shifts in the earth's crust continued to lead to layers carrying groundwater spontaneously coming to the surface, which at least temporarily led to the creation of new springs.

The earthquake of 1927 , in which the western plate to the south and the eastern plate to the north, shifted by around 50 cm from one another within a very short time , has been regarded as the central event of modern times . This undoubtedly resembles the oldest reports from the region.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Horst Rademacher : At the source of the biblical catastrophes . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . May 5, 2004 ( online ).
  2. a b DEad Sea Integrated REsearch Project / Magnetotellurics. Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum , November 4, 2013, accessed on April 26, 2015 .