Mount Sodom

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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Mount Sodom (Hebrew: הר סדום, Har Sedom) is a hill along the southwestern part of the Dead Sea in Israel/Palestine; it is part of the Judaean Desert Nature Reserve. It takes its name from the legendary city of Sodom, whose destruction is the subject of a narrative in the Bible.

Mount Sodom began its rise hundreds of thousands of years ago and continues to grow taller at a rate of 3.5 millimetres (0.14 inches) a year. Movements of the Great Rift Valley system, along with the pressure generated by the slow accumulation of earth and rock, pressed down on the layers of salt, creating Mount Sodom. The mount is comprised of about 80% salt, capped by a layer of limestone, clay and conglomerate that was dragged along as it was squeezed up from the valley floor.

It is approximately 8 kilometres (5 miles) long, 5 kilometres (3 miles) wide, and 226 metres (742 feet) above the Dead Sea water level, yet 170 metres (557 feet) below world mean sea level.

Mount Sodom is located to the west of the southern basin of the Dead Sea, and is an extraordinary geological phenomenon: apart from some thin layers of silt and marl, it is made entirely of salt.

Notable Geological Features


Lot's Wife
The Lot's Wife atop the Mount Sodom is actually a geological rock formation. Features like this are manifested because of weathering, and some portions have separated from the mount body.

See Also


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