Jordan Rift Valley

Jordan Rift Valley

Jordan Rift Valley

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The Jordan Rift Valley ( Al-Ghor or Al-Ghawr; Bik'at HaYarden) is an elongated depression located in modern-day Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. This geographic region includes the Jordan River, Jordan Valley, Hula Valley, Lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea, the lowest land elevation on Earth. The valley continues to the Red Sea, incorporating Arabah and the shorelines of the Gulf of Aqaba.

Origins and physical features

The Jordan Rift Valley was formed many millions of years ago in the Miocene epoch (23.8 - 5.3 Myr ago) when the Arabian tectonic plate moved northward and then eastward away from Africa. One million years later, the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan Rift Valley rose so that the sea water stopped flooding the area.

The lowest point in the Jordan Rift Valley is at the shores of the Dead Sea, which is also the lowest point (on land) on the surface of the earth at 400 meters below sea level. Rising sharply to almost 1,000 meters in the west, and similarly in the east, the rift is a significant topographic feature over which few narrow paved roads and difficult mountain tracks lead. The valley north of the Dead Sea has long been a site of agriculture because of water available from the Jordan River and numerous springs located on the valley's flanks.

The Dead Sea Transform

The plate boundary which extends through the valley is variously called the Dead Sea Transform or Dead Sea Rift. The boundary...
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