Some photographs courtesy of: Nir Ben-Yosef :: http://www.xnir.com
**Do not use any of his images without written permission. Not for commercial use.
The Dead Sea (Hebrew: יָם הַמֶּלַח, Yām Ha-Melaḥ, "Sea of Salt"; Arabic: البَحْر المَيّت, al-Baḥr El-Mayyit, "Dead Sea") is a salt lake in Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. Its surface and shores are 422 metres (1,385 ft) below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land.
The Dead Sea is 378 m (1,240 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, with 33.7% salinity. which is 8.6 times as salty as the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment where animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point.
The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the Dead Sea, creating pools and quicksand pits along the edges. There are no outlet streams.
Rainfall is scarcely 100 mm (4 in) per year in the northern part of the Dead Sea and barely 50 mm (2 in) in the southern part.
The Dead Sea zone's aridity is due to the rainshadow effect of the Judean Hills. The highlands east of the Dead Sea receive more rainfall than the Dead Sea itself.
To the west of the Dead Sea, the Judean Hills rise less steeply, and are much lower, than the mountains to the east. Along the southwestern side of the lake is a 210 m (700 ft) tall halite formation called "Mount Sodom".
In the northern area of South Australia you'll find Lake Eyre (pronounced "air"), the lowest point of Australia at approximately 15.2 meters below sea level.
As Australia's largest Lake covering 1,349,251ha it attracts the lowest annual rainfall of the country with annual mean precipitation of about 100mm.
Named after Edward John Eyre who first sighted it in 1840 it consists of two sections: Lake Eyre North and Lake Eyre South, joined by the narrow Goyder Channel and was a permanent saline lake from 5000 to 10,000 years ago.
In the last 200 years there have been only three major floodings (when both Lakes become one) the last occurring in 1974.
Current surface water level is approximately 80% due to recent rains (the best in a decade) and water is expected to stay in Lake Eyre North till at least late 2011.
Shot from an remote location 200 kms from the nearest homestead, these pictures illustrate the cyclical nature of the Lakes weather patterns now that water has returned to this unique area of Australia surrounded by desert.
And yes, the thumbnail image has a horizon in it - that thin black line. The rest is water and sky!