Pinsteps. Nahal Bokek's Geological Journey: Layers, Oil Formation, and Erosion's Tale
Places to visit in ישראל. Languages: en, ru

As streams carve their paths, their beds deepen, unveiling distinct strata of dolomite and chert. These strata, akin to layers in a cake, tell a story of the region’s geological past, opening a window into an ancient ocean’s seabed. Here, the sediments of oceanic life were compressed into stone, with variations in density and hardness reflecting the water’s depth and temperature. This resulted in different compressions in warm, shallow seas compared to their deeper, cooler counterparts.

The genesis of oil traces back to these ancient warm, shallow waters. Here, dead plankton, including both phytoplankton and zooplankton, combined with algae and bacteria, descended to the ocean floor. These remains mingled with inorganic materials carried by rivers, forming a layer of organic-rich mud. Over eons, in the absence of oxygen and under accumulating sediment, this mud transformed, through increasing pressure and temperature, into oil and natural gas. While most of the world’s oil deposits were formed during the dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic era, the organic matter composing oil is even older. The connection between oil and dinosaurs, widely believed by many, actually stems from a 1930s marketing campaign by Sinclair Oil Corporation, which used dinosaur imagery to imply the ancient origins of their oil.

With the uplift and fracturing of the ancient ocean’s seabed, the process of erosion and leaching began, a process still active today. Observers can see how water cascading down canyon walls deposits layers and minerals on the smooth, flood-formed walls. These waters leave behind a stony residue on the yellow stone, creating distinctive geological features that mirror the region’s dynamic history.


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Evgeny Praisman
Bokek Stream adventure Uncover History! Hiking near the Dead Sea on Jan 11, 2024

Your day hike along the Bokek Stream promises to be enriching and exciting. Starting from Tsuk Tamrur, a name that testifies to British oil exploration attempts in the 1930s, you will proceed towards Bokek Fortress near the Dead Sea. Along the way, you'll encounter stunning landscapes and learn many stories, including the region's geological past. This journey offers insights into human activities and natural phenomena, such as the Syrian-African Rift, which led to the formation of the Dead Sea Valley.

As the sun sets behind the mountains in the evening, you'll descend into the Dead Sea Valley. This part of the route is awe-inspiring due to its dramatic elevation drop of about four hundred meters. The view from the observation deck is breathtaking, especially during twilight. This unique blend of history, geology, and incredible natural beauty makes the hike along the Bokek Stream an unforgettable experience.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на epraisman@gmail.com и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
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