This picture is a symbol of the Dead Sea water retreat. The salt now constantly precipitating from the water column gives this light green colour visible on the shores. The multiple bays and gulfs are characteristic morphological features of the Dead Sea shore. They are rarely observed in other coastlines as they are eroded away quickly. The water retreat is so fast in the Dead Sea that it does not allow for the waves to erode these promontories. This shore line retreat is also epitomized by the paralell lines observed on the beach. With a water level decrease of 1 meter per year in the last 10 years, the shore line retreat sometimes reaches 100 m in a year. As a result, the Dead Sea has lost a 3rd of its surface since 1960. This retreat disrupts the equuilibrium of the water table in the subsurface, that follows the lake level decrease. The freshwater now circulates in the salt rich underground of the Dead Sea shores, dissolving the halite and forming sink holes all around the lake. Around 4000 crevasses are estimated to have formed, threatening the infrastructures built in the area (from roads, farms, houses or campsites). The different colours observed in the sinkholes result from algal or bacterial (cyanobacteria) development on these diluted water ponds.
Source photo : AFP-JIJI
Gertman, I., Hecht, A., 2002. The Dead Sea hydrography from 1992 to 2000. J. Mar. Syst. 35
Katz, A. and Starinsky, A. 2009. Geochemical history of the Dead Sea, Aquat. Geochem. 15:159–194