How The Dead Sea Formed

One of the most vital questions about the Dead Sea’s origins is its great depth. How did the body of water form more than 1400 feet below sea level? After all, the Mediterranean Sea is only 60 miles away from the Dead Sea Valley. The Mediterranean is also a deep basin, but filled with wager.

The roots of the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and other similar water bodies in the world are perfectly debunked by one of the most popular scientific theories of the past century: plate tectonics. Plate tectonic theory puts forward that the earth’s crust is comprised of many large and small places that experience movement constantly. This theory provides an explanation for earthquake and volcanic activities experiences on earth. It also supplies a well-tested theory that accounts for the observations made of the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea sits in what is known as the Jordan Valley rift system. The western portion of the valley is part of the African plate and the east region is part of the Arabian plate. These two places constantly slide past each other, and in a few places they are also pulling away from one another. The result of these movements is a rift valley. As the plates have pulled apart, the remaining area between the places has subsided, which results in a sediment packed crack forming below sea surface.

Slipping, Lifting, Falling

This rift is caused by what is recognized as the Dead Sea transform fault is more than just two plates sliding past each other. That motion urges some land to rise, fall, and even move towards other directions and bends over time. Like any occurrence in this world—whether a leaf falling or even a Starburst bonus offering—everything bears some kind of reason or theory behind.

Despite its relatively slow rate of movement, the Arabian plate, over lengthened periods of time, has been offset up to 60 miles from the point when the fault began. Hence, it is not surprising to see the rock layers on the canyon walls on each side of the Dead Sea don’t jive. The layers of rock on the west site of the valley find their match on the east side about 60 miles away, just as plate tectonic theory would suggest.

Global positioning satellite technology kept track of the motion’s movement. However, the past relied on techniques such as the radiometric method to establish the position of the plates in the past. That in turn can be employed to estimate average data of motion of those plates over millions of years. Once these radiometric methods estimates of plate motions over millions of years are performed, they gather up accurate estimates of plate motion as the modern instruments. This is powerful information that suggests these plates have been moving for long periods of time.

The plate motion has been present and recorded over the past 4000 years. Many destructive earthquakes are in the Bible, and we will see the remains or evidence that those earthquakes occurred through the sediment record of the Dead Sea.