The Sea of Galilee’s view from space: a constant source of religious intrigue and mystery

Sea of Galilee in Israel shrinks

The Sea of Galilee in northern part of Israel has other names. It is believed that it was named Lake Tiberius after the Roman emperor Tiberius. The sea received it’s name due to the settlement in the western part of the reservoir. It was founded in the first century AD by Tiberius. But another feature of the Sea of Galilee is that it is considered to be one of the lowest-lying bodies of water on our planet.

Moreover, for many centuries the Sea of Galilee has been considered as a constant source of religious intrigue and secrets. According to beliefs, miracles took place on its shore, they are associated with Jesus.

Near the coastline, Jewish settlers founded the world's first kibbutz, as stated in some Islamic prophecies. The equipment installed on the Landsat 8 satellite transmitted several images of the sea and the surrounding landscape. The image was overlaid on a digital elevation model that was created using Shuttle's radar. It turned out that the sea is constantly replenished with water from underground sources flowing into it, but a much larger volume of water flows through the Jordan River.

Lake Galilee is located in the Jordan Rift Valley. This is a narrow depression that began to form millions of years ago after the Arabian tectonic plate separated from Africa. Over time, many wetlands developed into agricultural land. The sea was always popular between pilgrims.

But over the past decades, its condition has deteriorated sharply. The water level dropped to record highs. It caused the sea to become extremely salty, making it less resilient. Significant changes have also taken place in the number of populations of the inhabitants of the reservoir, they became much smaller.

The scientists identified several reasons for the situation, linking the deteriorating state of the Sea of Galilee with the lack of rain, an increase in air temperature, which increases the evaporation of water, and the expansion of farmland.

The last two winters, which are recognized as relatively wet, have contributed to the self-healing of the lake. The water level in it rose and amounted to 209.9 meters. The last time the Sea of Galilee reached such indicators was 20 years ago.