DEAD SEA The Dead Sea (Sea of Salt) the Dead Sea, or Buhayrat, Bahret or Birket Lut, is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. The lake's surface is 430.5 metres (1,412 ft) below sea level, making its shores the lowest land-based elevation on Earth. It is 304 m (997 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With a salinity of 342 g/kg, or 34.2% (in 2011), it is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water – 9.6 times as salty as the ocean – and has a density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea's main, northern basin is 50 kilometres (31 mi) long and 15 kilometres (9 mi) wide at its widest point. The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean Basin for thousands of years. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilisers. Today, tourists visit the sea on its Israeli, Jordanian and West Bank coastlines. The Palestinian tourism industry has been met with setbacks in developing along the West Bank coast. The Dead Sea is receding at a swift rate; its surface area today is 605 km2 (234 sq mi), having been 1,050 km2 (410 sq mi) in 1930. The recession of the Dead Sea has begun causing problems, and multiple canal and pipeline proposals have been made to reduce its recession. One of these proposals is the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance pipeline project, which would provide water to neighbouring countries and carry brine to the Dead Sea to help stabilise its water level. Etymology and toponymy : In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is meaning "sea of salt" (Genesis 14:3). The Bible uses this term alongside two others: the Sea of the Arabah , and the Eastern Sea . The designation "Dead Sea" never appears in the Bible. In Hebrew literature, sometimes the term Yām ha-Māvet is used, due to the scarcity of aquatic life there. In Arabic, the Dead Sea is called ("the Dead Sea"), or less commonly . after a nearby town in biblical times. Geography : The Dead Sea is an endorheic lake located in the Jordan Rift Valley, a geographic feature formed by the Dead Sea Transform (DST). This left lateral-moving transform fault lies along the tectonic plate boundary between the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. It runs between the East Anatolian Fault zone in Turkey and the northern end of the Red Sea Rift offshore of the southern tip of Sinai. It is here that the Upper Jordan River/Sea of Galilee/Lower Jordan River water system comes to an end. 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, forming pools and quicksand pits along the edges. There are no outlet streams. The Mujib River, biblical Arnon, is one of the larger water sources of the Dead Sea other than the Jordan. The Wadi Mujib valley, 420 m below the sea level in the southern part of the Jordan valley, is a biosphere reserve, with an area of 212 km2 (82 sq mi). Other more substantial sources are Wadi Darajeh (Arabic)/Nahal Dragot (Hebrew), and Nahal Arugot that ends at Ein Gedi (German article at: de:Nachal Arugot). Wadi Hasa (biblical Zered) is another wadi flowing into the Dead Sea. 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 Judaean Mountains. The highlands east of the Dead Sea receive more rainfall than the Dead Sea itself. To the west of the Dead Sea, the Judaean mountains 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 mineral formation called Mount Sodom.