Environmental changes and hazards in the Dead Sea region (NHESS/ACP/HESS/SE inter-journal SI)(NHESS/ACP/HESS/SE inter-journal SI)
Environmental changes and hazards in the Dead Sea region (NHESS/ACP/HESS/SE inter-journal SI)(NHESS/ACP/HESS/SE inter-journal SI)
Editor(s): C. Siebert and E. Morin Special issue jointly organized between Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, and Solid Earth
The Dead Sea region constitutes a unique environmental system on Earth. Set in an extraordinary landscape and cultural area, it is central to life in this region and of great economic and ecological importance. Today, the region is faced with rapid environmental changes and a multitude of hazardous natural phenomena. The ongoing lake level decline of the Dead Sea, the desertification process, occasional flash floods, the development of numerous sinkholes, and the existing significant seismic risk indicate that the region can by affected by important human, economic, and ecologic loss in future. Due to its outstanding characteristics, such as sharp climatic gradients, extreme water salinity, its dynamics, and the combination of both natural and anthropogenic drivers, the Dead Sea region represents a unique natural laboratory in which to study multiple disciplines such as geophysics, hydrology, and meteorology.

The environmental changes in Earth, atmosphere, and water are linked to the main geomorphic feature in the region, the Dead Sea Transform fault system. Due to this active fault zone, the region is exposed to severe earthquake hazard, which in turn, considering the exposed assets and the vulnerability of the building stock, determines a significant seismic risk in the region. Knowledge about processes and structures in the underground is also required for the study of sinkholes. Sinkholes form when groundwater, undersaturated with respect to easily soluble minerals, uses faults as conduits to percolate to subsurface salt deposits. The water dissolves and flushes the salt, leading to a collapse of the underground substrate structure. Thus, the development of sinkholes is enabled. Besides triggering sinkhole formation, groundwater recharge determines the available water resources. The Dead Sea being a terminal lake, its water level decline is controlled by changes in subsurface as well as surface water inflow and evaporation. A direct link to hydrology and atmospheric sciences is thereby established. The rapid shrinking of the water surface area is accompanied by a strong local climatic change, which induces changes in atmospheric circulation patterns. Here, the Dead Sea can be viewed as a laboratory for studying effects of climate change under much accelerated conditions compared to the rest of the world.

The objective of the multidisciplinary special issue “Environmental changes and hazards in the Dead Sea region” is to compile research and recent advances on the atmospheric, hydrological, and geophysical processes and dynamics of the Dead Sea and its surroundings, which are also of prototype relevance for other (semi )arid terminal basins of the world. Papers included in this special issue could address the processes of sinkhole genesis, groundwater recharge and movement, flash flooding, as well as seismic or severe meteorological events and could include topics such as the quantification of the water budget components. Moreover, contributions are invited that demonstrate how this knowledge contributes to aspects of risk assessment (or its main components like hazard, exposure, and vulnerability) and could assist in efficient risk mitigation and remediation strategies as well as to appropriate implementation of early warning systems in the region. Both measurement and modelling studies are welcome. The planned special issue aims to address the unique conditions of the Dead Sea region from different disciplinary views. Given the fast environmental changes in the different spheres, the special issue will be of wide interest to readers from seismologists, geophysicists, engineers, and hydrologists to meteorologists. Interest will not be limited to researchers working in the region as similar changes are occurring in other parts of the world too, many on a much longer timescale. The special issue is initiated by the Helmholtz Virtual Institute’s DEad SEa Research VEnue (DESERVE). The project brings together researchers working on diverse research fields related to the Dead Sea environment. The special issue will be open for all submissions within its scope.

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26 Feb 2020
Field-based estimation and modelling of distributed groundwater recharge in a Mediterranean karst catchment, Wadi Natuf, West Bank
Clemens Messerschmid, Martin Sauter, and Jens Lange
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 887–917, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-887-2020,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-887-2020, 2020
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16 Jan 2020
A multi-environmental tracer study to determine groundwater residence times and recharge in a structurally complex multi-aquifer system
Cornelia Wilske, Axel Suckow, Ulf Mallast, Christiane Meier, Silke Merchel, Broder Merkel, Stefan Pavetich, Tino Rödiger, Georg Rugel, Agnes Sachse, Stephan M. Weise, and Christian Siebert
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 249–267, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-249-2020,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-249-2020, 2020
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30 Aug 2019
Sinkholes and uvalas in evaporite karst: spatio-temporal development with links to base-level fall on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea
Robert A. Watson, Eoghan P. Holohan, Djamil Al-Halbouni, Leila Saberi, Ali Sawarieh, Damien Closson, Hussam Alrshdan, Najib Abou Karaki, Christian Siebert, Thomas R. Walter, and Torsten Dahm
Solid Earth, 10, 1451–1468, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-10-1451-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/se-10-1451-2019, 2019
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23 May 2019
Moment magnitude estimates for central Anatolian earthquakes using coda waves
Tuna Eken
Solid Earth, 10, 713–723, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-10-713-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/se-10-713-2019, 2019
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26 Apr 2019
Exposure of tourism development to salt karst hazards along the Jordanian Dead Sea shore
Najib Abou Karaki, Simone Fiaschi, Killian Paenen, Mohammad Al-Awabdeh, and Damien Closson
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 2111–2127, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-2111-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-2111-2019, 2019
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18 Mar 2019
Developing GIS-based water poverty and rainwater harvesting suitability maps for domestic use in the Dead Sea region (West Bank, Palestine)
Sameer M. Shadeed, Tariq G. Judeh, and Mohammad N. Almasri
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 1581–1592, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-1581-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-1581-2019, 2019
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11 Mar 2019
Combining continuous spatial and temporal scales for SGD investigations using UAV-based thermal infrared measurements
Ulf Mallast and Christian Siebert
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 1375–1392, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-1375-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-1375-2019, 2019
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07 Mar 2019
Calibrating a new attenuation curve for the Dead Sea region using surface wave dispersion surveys in sites damaged by the 1927 Jericho earthquake
Yaniv Darvasi and Amotz Agnon
Solid Earth, 10, 379–390, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-10-379-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/se-10-379-2019, 2019
11 Feb 2019
Faulting patterns in the Lower Yarmouk Gorge potentially influence groundwater flow paths
Nimrod Inbar, Eliahu Rosenthal, Fabien Magri, Marwan Alraggad, Peter Möller, Akiva Flexer, Joseph Guttman, and Christian Siebert
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 763–771, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-763-2019,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-23-763-2019, 2019
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21 Dec 2018
Characteristics and evolution of diurnal foehn events in the Dead Sea valley
Jutta Vüllers, Georg J. Mayr, Ulrich Corsmeier, and Christoph Kottmeier
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 18169–18186, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-18169-2018,https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-18169-2018, 2018
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23 Nov 2018
Geomechanical modelling of sinkhole development using distinct elements: model verification for a single void space and application to the Dead Sea area
Djamil Al-Halbouni, Eoghan P. Holohan, Abbas Taheri, Martin P. J. Schöpfer, Sacha Emam, and Torsten Dahm
Solid Earth, 9, 1341–1373, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-9-1341-2018,https://doi.org/10.5194/se-9-1341-2018, 2018
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13 Nov 2018
Observations of positive sea surface temperature trends in the steadily shrinking Dead Sea
Pavel Kishcha, Rachel T. Pinker, Isaac Gertman, Boris Starobinets, and Pinhas Alpert
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3007–3018, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-3007-2018,https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-18-3007-2018, 2018
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21 Sep 2018
Shear wave reflection seismic yields subsurface dissolution and subrosion patterns: application to the Ghor Al-Haditha sinkhole site, Dead Sea, Jordan
Ulrich Polom, Hussam Alrshdan, Djamil Al-Halbouni, Eoghan P. Holohan, Torsten Dahm, Ali Sawarieh, Mohamad Y. Atallah, and Charlotte M. Krawczyk
Solid Earth, 9, 1079–1098, https://doi.org/10.5194/se-9-1079-2018,https://doi.org/10.5194/se-9-1079-2018, 2018
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06 Mar 2018
New insights into the vertical structure of the September 2015 dust storm employing eight ceilometers and auxiliary measurements over Israel
Leenes Uzan, Smadar Egert, and Pinhas Alpert
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 3203–3221, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-3203-2018,https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-3203-2018, 2018
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09 Feb 2018
Dead Sea evaporation by eddy covariance measurements vs. aerodynamic, energy budget, Priestley–Taylor, and Penman estimates
Jutta Metzger, Manuela Nied, Ulrich Corsmeier, Jörg Kleffmann, and Christoph Kottmeier
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1135–1155, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-1135-2018,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-1135-2018, 2018
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15 Nov 2017
Revealing the meteorological drivers of the September 2015 severe dust event in the Eastern Mediterranean
Philipp Gasch, Daniel Rieger, Carolin Walter, Pavel Khain, Yoav Levi, Peter Knippertz, and Bernhard Vogel
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 13573–13604, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-13573-2017,https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-13573-2017, 2017
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12 Oct 2017
Convective rainfall in a dry climate: relations with synoptic systems and flash-flood generation in the Dead Sea region
Idit Belachsen, Francesco Marra, Nadav Peleg, and Efrat Morin
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5165–5180, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-5165-2017,https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-5165-2017, 2017
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