Editors: Yehouda Enzel, Amotz Agnon, and Mordechai Stein
This volume is a key contribution to anyone interested in the Near East and its changing environments, climate change, natural hazards and lacustrine processes, salt diapirs, and age dating. It presents new data and syntheses by active researchers of the Dead Sea basin, one of the most historically, geologically and hydrologically interesting lake basins in the world. The Dead Sea holds a few records: its shores are at the lowest elevation on the continents and its water is among the most saline and dense in the world. It is a place where humans have interacted with harsh environments and rough landscapes for a very long time; this extremely arid lake basin is a challenge to modern societies. Some chapters cover natural hazards such as earthquakes and collapse sinkholes, floods, and flood-producing storms; others contribute to understanding the scarce water resources of surface and ground water in the area. Shore and lake depositional processes, the evolution of the lake water, and age dating methods also are presented and are used in reconstructing the lake levels and the Near East climate change in historical and prehistorical times. The interaction of people and their use of the shores and the fascination nineteenth century travelers had with the lake are also presented.