Researchers Discovered Deep Freshwater Springs on Dead Sea Floor

A group of scientists from Ben-Gurion University, in the Negev (Israel), together with colleagues from the German Institute of Marine Microbiology by name Max Planck held the first in world history underwater expedition to the Dead Sea. Researchers have discovered deep freshwater springs on the Dead Sea floor that feed into this rapidly dwindling body of water. In the first ever Dead Sea diving expedition, the researchers also found new types of micro-organisms growing around fissures in the sea floor.The Dead Sea has been rapidly evaporating approximately three feet (one meter) per year, as its main source of fresh water, the Jordan River, has been siphoned off just below the Sea of Galilee for drinking by Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians.

Scientists have been researching groundwater springs which discharge from the sea floor to understand the impact of this process on the unique Dead Sea ecosystem. Their study reveals complex springs hundreds of feet long and as deep as 90 feet (30 meters). The springs appear from the sea floor through craters as large as 45 feet (15 meters) in diameter and 60 feet (20 meters) deep with steep, finely laminated walls and alternating layers of sediment and minerals. According to scientists by developing a measurement system for these springs, they will be able to determine more accurately how much water is actually entering the Dead Sea.