THE DEAD SEA RIFT VALLEY

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THE DEAD SEA RIFT VALLEY

JORDAN VALLEY  |  DEAD SEA  |  WADI ARABA  |  GULF OF AQABA  

  • the dead sea rift valley
    Smooth sand dunes of Wadi Araba

THE DEAD SEA RIFT VALLEY

The Dead Sea Rift is more than a thousand km long depression which stretches from northern Syria to the Red Sea in the south and constitutes a unique section of the immense Syrian-African rift system (Great Rift Valley) which stretches from Turkey in the north to Mozambique in the south. The Jordanian segment along the Dead Sea Rift includes the Gulf of Aqaba, the Araba Valley, the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley.

The rift with its numerous wildlife and abundant vegetation provided favorable conditions for hunting and gathering and evidence of early settlements were unearthed along the rift. The Dead Sea is the lowest part of the Rift, whose shores lie at 417 m below sea level. The fertile Jordan Valley which includes, the Jordan River, is a 120 km long and constitutes the northern part of the rift and runs from Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) in the north to the northern part of the Dead Sea in the south; forming the northern western boundary between occupied Palestine (Israel) and Jordan. It was in the fertile Jordan Valley that early settlements were built, some 10,000 years ago, when people started to plant crops and abandon their nomadic lifestyle, and where significant biblical events took place.

The southern part of the rift is the Araba Valley, also known as Wadi Araba, which stretches from the southern part of the Dead Sea, for a 155 km, to the Gulf of Aqaba and consists mainly of mud flats and Salinas.