The water surface level of the Dead Sea is the lowest natural land or water surface on Earth at more than 400 meters below sea level. That level continues to lower as water from Dead Sea tributaries is diverted for irrigation. In the southern part of the sea, the salt and potash industries use water from the sea in evaporation ponds. Water is not quickly replenished in this closed basin, so the level continues to drop.
The sea is made up of a northern basin and a southern basin. Both basins were once connected by a strait (see the 1973 image), but the strait is now dry.
(Black stripes run through some of the Landsat 7 images because its Scan Line Corrector failed in May 2003.)
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