Mount Sodom

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The "Lot's Wife" pillar on Mount Sodom, Israel, made of halite
Salt cave in Mount Sodom
Bedded halite at Mount Sodom

Coordinates: 31°4′19″N 35°23′49″E / 31.07194°N 35.39694°E / 31.07194; 35.39694 Mount Sodom (Hebrew: הר סדום‎, Har Sedom) or Jebel Usdum (Arabic: جبل السدوم‎, Jabal(u) 'ssudūm) is a hill along the southwestern part of the Dead Sea in Israel, part of the Judean Desert Nature Reserve.

History[edit]

Mount Sodom began its rise hundreds of thousands of years ago and continues to grow taller at a rate of 3.5 millimetres (0.14 in) a year.[1]

Movements of the African rift system, along with the pressure generated by the slow accumulation of earth and rock, pressed down on the layers of salt, creating Mount Sodom. It is about 80 percent salt, 720 feet (220 m) high, capped by a layer of limestone, clay and conglomerate that was dragged along as it was squeezed up from the valley floor.[2]

It is approximately 8 kilometres (5 mi) long, 5 kilometres (3 mi) wide, and 226 metres (742 ft) above the Dead Sea water level, yet 170 metres (557 ft) below world mean sea level. Because of weathering, some portions have separated. One of these pillars is known as "Lot's wife", in reference to the Biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hareuveni, Imanuel (1985). קום התהלך בארץ: מדריך שמורות טבע בישראל [Nature Reserves in Israel] (in Hebrew) (2nd ed.). Israel: Israel Ministry of Defense. pp. 406, 409. ISBN 965-05-0193-2. בחלקהּ הדר' של הבקעה מתרומם הר סדום (פסגתו 240 מ' מעל פני ים המלח. ארכו כ-11 ק"מ ורוחבו כ-2 ק"מ), לו נוף מיוחד של עמקי אורך ורכסי אורך, שכיוונם הכללי צפ'-דר' והבנוי, בעיקרו, סלעי מלח." "ראשית התרוממות ההר החלה לפני כמה מאות אלפי שנים. ב-20 אלף השנים האחרונות התרומם ההר בקצב של 3.5 מ"מ בשנה, והתרוממות זו נמשכת גם כיום. 
  2. ^ Punished for looking back, Lot's wife may fall forward
View of the Dead Sea from Mount Sodom