mount sodom salt dead sea basin isreal

Dead Sea geology – Mount Sodom

mount sodom salt dead sea basin isrealThe Dead Sea geology is unusual for the area, the Dead Sea Basin has many surprising geology features and lots of minerals and resources.

Are these the product of millions and millions of years of geology or due to relatively recent events?

Mount Sodom

Mount Sodom is arond 10 km long and about 2 km wide, its top is 200 meters above the Dead Sea surface and is said to go 190 meters below sea level.

Mount Sodom, a beautiful and somewhat strange natural structure, rises 230 meters above the level of the Dead Sea and holds roughly a billion tons of pure salt. Mount Sodom looks like a giant block of salt (and, it kind of is). It sat at the bottom of the Dead Sea and was lifted out over time by little earthquakes. The mountain has been sculpted over thousands of years by wind and by water, and continues to be shaped today.
Mount Sodom: A Giant Heap of Salt

Why has it not been worn away? Unless it was recently either brought to the surface or formed where it is found in the Dead Sea region – ‘the Valley of Siddim, which is now the Dead Sea’.

How did these earthquakes keep rising it up and up? Did they do that to other geological features in the same area and level?

Why is it such a lump of pure salt? If salt was such a valuable commodity in times past, after all the word salary comes from being paid in salt, why was not this natural source of salt so easily available not completely mined out or dug away and taken away?

Why does it have a few thin layers of silt and marl?

Over the years salt accumulated to a layer of 4km height, on top of which eroded rocks and other minerals were deposited. The underground heat had melted the salt, and the weight of the rocks above creates a pressure that forces the melted salt up along the sides. The mountain is an outcome of this massive force, and it keeps rising 1cm per year.
Mount Sodom – Location and Geology

Or is this the easy answer? Mount Sodom grows, shrinks, heats (keeps heating and melting?) and up she rises but up the sides?

Mount Sodom caves

Mount Sodom has many caves.

There is an amazing number of caves and tunnels, some hundreds of feet long. This points to an interesting historical conclusion: the mountain must have been hit by huge amounts of water, over and over again. Only the largest deluges of water could have led to the formation of so many intricate passageways and rooms within the mountain.
Mount Sodom: A Giant Heap of Salt

Contrary to any other rock, the salt dissolves rapidly in water. Erosion and creation of underground cavities are more than 50 times faster than in limestone or dolomite.

The “Malch’am” (The Israeli Center for Caves Research) Cave beneath Mount Sodom is the longest known cave in Israel, and the longest single natural salt cave in the world. It is 5,500m long and is full of breath-taking salt stalactites, with endless vertical and horizontal volumes.
Mount Sodom – Location and Geology

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