יום שני, 15 באוקטובר 2012

Track From Tamrur Cliff to Ein Bokek


Between Arad and the southern region of the Dead Sea , there is an enchanting route that begins in the desert highland , ascends to some impressive observation points and goes down to He'etekim Crag and Ein Bokek springs through the Bokek canyon . Nice and easy hiking , beautiful landscape viewing and bathing in a fountain are all included in this route . 
Getting There 

The starting point is from Route 31 from Arad toward the Dead Sea - Neve Zohar . In between the 64th and 65th km of the road , 16 .5 km {10 .2 miles} from Hatrurim Junction , or 10 km {6 .2 miles} west from Neve Zohar Junction , you'll meet with a brown signpost denoting Tamrur and Ein Bokek . This sign is also the beginning of a hiking route , marked green in the footpath marking {1} . Although having no arranged parking lot , this place offers some safe places for parking your vehicle there . 

Note , that 1 km {0 .6 mile} south on Route 31 , another route to Ein Bokek , marked black in the footpath marking , starts from this point {12} onward . You could drive your vehicle on this dirt road until the reaching the foot of Tamrur cliff {Tsuk Tamrur} . 

The ending point in which the other vehicle will be left , is near the north turn to the Ein Bokek hotel area , in proximity to the 212th km of Route 90 , next to a signpost , which directs to Ein Bokek {11} . The route ends there . 

For GPS users , click here for having the route coordinates ( the New Israeli Net ) . 

The Route 

The beginning of the route looks like a pedestrian path marked green in the footpath marking {1} . This footpath marking will guide us almost until the end of our trail . After about 1-km walk in the desert area we will reach quickly to the foot of Har Shulchan {Table Mountain} , which also bears the name Tamrur Cliff {2} . Although the footpath continues straightly from this point , we will abandon it for a short while , will stick to the crag line , and take another 1-km walking eastward until we will reach the level point 204 ( no . 3 in the map ) . From this point , the spectacular view of the entire southern region of the Dead Sea is unfolded : north to us - Har Kana'im , Har Ben Yair and Massada ; in the east – the Dead Sea , the canyon of Nahal Bokek , the Dead Sea Lisan Peninsula , Moab Mountains , and Edom Mountains ; In the south – Hatzera Ridge , Hatira Ridge and Har Tzeva'im ; in the west – Zohar Ridge and the city of Arad . 

The cliff received its name after a post with metal tablet that stood on the end of the cliff for years , and resembling from afar a signpost ; however , today , the post is gone . 

In this point , you might easily notice the many chalk hills of the desert highland , and as we'd advance we will realize how this highland dramatically slopes down toward the Dead Sea in He'etekim Cliff . In this area the precipitation level is about 100 – 350 CC per year , but due to the low water absorption capacity of the soil , most direct runoff is wasted and therefore the land can support only grazing but not yielding crops . 

From this observation point we shall continue north with the promontory , until we will adjoin the green footpath {4} that leads down from Tamrur Cliff to Nahal Bokek . The canyon of Nahal Bokek { continues for another ten kilometers , from the region of Ben Nesher Mountain To Parsa Mountain and To He'etekim Cliff , digging and carving its way in the soft chalk-bed .

After a 1-km walk {0 .62 mile} we shall meet with a dirt road marked black in the footpath marking {5} ; however , we will follow the green footpath that goes in the riverbed . Our hiking will be marked by the presence of the typical desert flora : athel tamaisk , white broom , shrubby salt-bush , salt tree , taily weed and more .

After another 1 .5-km walk , we will reach the ideal place for resting – above a small waterfall that was formed in the canyon {6} . Here it is also a superb spot for having a nice observation toward the canyon's landscape . The green path bypasses the right side of the waterfall and returns back to the canyon . We shall keep on going another 2-km walk in the canyon through clinging to the green footpath marking until reaching the waterfall in Nahal Bokek {7} .

Bokek Waterfall

From this point , the canyon breaks from the He'etekim Cliff in a breathtaking hoof-like {N2} {U3} waterfall , at a 100 m height , with an additional waterfall at 60 m . We will discover Ein Bokek {Bokek spring} at the bottom of the waterfall when we shall descend down in further walking the trail . But for now we will enjoy the scenery from the outlook at the head of the waterfall , which includes the high picks of Edom Mountains , Har Sdom {Sodom Mountain} , and He'etekim Cliff , that were created by the Great Rift Valley ( cf . an animation {U4} about this subject )

The Great Rift Valley is a continuous geographic trough , about 6 ,000 km {3 ,700 miles} in length , that goes all the way from north Syria until Tanzania in Africa . The Red Sea including Eilat Gulf , the Arava , the Dead Sea , the basin of the Sea of Galilee , and the basin of the Hula Lake are only part of the geological formation that was created by the Great Rift Valley . The area of the Dead Sea is the deepest point of the rift . This long trough has began to be formed about 25 million years ago , and its process of formation is still in the working .

Today the more accepted theory that explains the formation of the rift is connected with one of the most fascinating current geological theories : the plate tectonics theory ( or the continental drift ) . According to this theory , Earth is covered from its outwardly surface by huge plates of persistently moving rocks , whose slow movement can be traced on many millions of years . During this movement and through these plate's collisions with each another , varied geological formation were formed in the landscape of Earth : mountains , valleys , planes etc . Linking this theory to the Israeli section of the great rift valley , the scientists hold that the Arabian Peninsula tract , including the eastern side of the Jordan river , moves north , in relation to its counterpart , the western side of the Jordan river in Israel .

This movement to the north is accompanied also with a movement to the east , which is the product of a movement of the Arab peninsula that distances itself from the African Plate , which results in a circular movement anticlockwise . This motion is also the cause for the formation of the Eilat Golf , the Arava and Jordan Valley ( parallel to the movement of the Arabian Peninsula's tract north and east , Israel and Sinai has been also moving along the Suez Canal distancing themselves further away from Africa ) .

In the Israeli part of the great rift , the horizontal movement does not go so smoothly in both sides : the fault line is zigzagged , curved , sometimes it turns to the left , sometimes to the right , and eventually this asymmetrically movement had formed in the landscape some deep concaves depressions ( e .g . The Dead Sea , the Hula Lake and the Sea of Galilee ) as well as high ridges of mountains . The many geological proofs teaches us about the rift , as for example , the outcrops of igneous rocks in the rift valley ends in its western part in Eilat area , namely in Timna valley , while its counterpart in Jordan ends in the Dead Sea area , meaning about 100 km north to the Israeli geological outcrops . Another example is from the copper deposits which are located in the western part of the rift in the area of Timna Valley , while the in the Jordanian part the parallel rock strata with copper concentration are in Wadi Faynon , which is 100 km north to the Timna Valley .

To sum this up , because of the plates' movement , the area of Jordan moves northward , eastward and becomes higher parallel to the area of Israel . From the Bokek Waterfall lookout , the Edom Mountains look distinctively higher , and if we were to sort the type of rocks from the mountains across us , we will discover that their content is typically matching with their counterpart Israeli mountains , which are 100 km south to Nahal Bokek . Between Israel and Jordan there is the gapping rift of the Dead Sea .

It was already said that the Dead Sea is a result of the rift . In the following diagram {U5} there is an illustration of its formation . It was formed in 3 steps , and during the 2 later steps , the southern shallow part of the Dead Sea was formed as well as its northern part at about 400 meters deep .

After taking an observation and resting near the Ein Bokek Waterfall {7} , we will continue northeast with the path marked Green , and hike another 2 km until a meeting with a footpath marked red in the footpath marking {9} . Before starting with descending down , we will take a view from this observation point to both parts of the Dead Sea , the northern part is the blue one , and the southern one , with the shallow water , is turquoise . The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth , but unfortunately , the sea level is constantly dropping down every year , and for every year , there is a new Guinness World Record for the lowest point on earth .

There are few reasons for this decline : evaporation from heat , absent of substantial water sources for the lake ( except of the flow from springs like those of Einot Tzukim , Einot Kane and Samar Ein Gedi , and few floods from Jordan and the Judea Desert ) and from excessive water pumping for the Dead Sea Works plants for potassium manufacturing . 

אין תגובות:

הוסף רשומת תגובה