The stable isotope composition of Dead Sea waters.

Joel R. Gat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Dead Sea waters are moderately enriched in 18O; the degree of enrichment constitutes a balance between the dilution by freshwater influx and the isotope fractionation which accompanies evaporative water loss and vapour exchange with the atmospheric moisture. Modelling of the seasonal cycle and long-term trends of δ18O, in response to the changes in the environmental parameters, shows that the major control is exercised by the salinity of the surface waters, through its effect on the vapour pressure gradient between the lake's surface and the atmosphere; the (steady state) isotopic composition of the more saline brines tends towards less enriched 18O values. This fact can explain the relatively high δ18O levels encountered in the Lisan formation, which was deposited from Lake Lisan, -the less saline Pleistocene precursor of the Dead Sea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-376
Number of pages16
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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