Table of Contents
International Journal of Oceanography
Volume 2017, Article ID 5810575, 12 pages
Research Article

Observations of Unexpected Short-Term Heating in the Uppermost Layer of the Dead Sea after a Sharp Decrease in Solar Radiation

1School of Geosciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
2Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, National Institute of Oceanography, Haifa, Israel

Correspondence should be addressed to Pavel Kishcha;

Received 18 November 2016; Accepted 18 April 2017; Published 25 May 2017

Academic Editor: Stefano Vignudelli

Copyright © 2017 Pavel Kishcha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. Observational evidence has been obtained of unexpected short-term water heating in the 2 m uppermost layer of this hypersaline lake, following a sharp drop in solar radiation under weak winds. This was carried out using Dead Sea buoy measurements. Passing frontal cloudiness mixed with significant dust pollution over the Judean Mountains and the Dead Sea, which occurred on March 22, 2013, led to a dramatic drop in noon solar radiation from 860 W m−2 to 50 W m−2. This drop in solar radiation caused a short-term (1-hour) pronounced temperature rise in the uppermost layer of the sea down to 2 m depth. After the sharp drop in noon solar radiation, in the absence of water mixing, buoy measurements showed that the temperature rise in the uppermost layer of the Dead Sea took place for a shorter time and was more pronounced than the temperature rise under the regular diurnal solar cycle. The water heating could be explained by gravitational instability in the skin-surface layer, when the warm surface water with the increased salinity and density submerged, thereby increasing temperature in the layers below.