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Examination of Dead Sea Water for Eka-Cæsium and Eka-Iodine


SEVERAL years ago it occurred to me that if eka-cæsium (element 87) is capable of permanent existence, it ought to be found in the Dead Sea. For ages rivers, streams, and rain, all charged with various salts, have poured into that sea, with practically no outlet save evaporation, so that an exceptionally high concentration of salts has resulted. It was not until July 1925 that I was able to visit Palestine and the Dead Sea. Summer is a particularly suitable time to obtain the water, as the enormous evaporation of surface water under the blazing sun causes a marked depression in the level of the Dead Sea, the water evaporating more rapidly than it is replenished by the Jordan, the rate of evaporation being thus estimated as exceeding six million tons of water per diem. Hence the accessible surface waters are more highly charged with dissolved salts than at other periods. This is reflected in their density, for which published data give values round about 1.1546 during the cooler months (Stutzer and Reich, March 1907). My sample was collected at the northern end of the Sea, at a depth of 2 feet, about 50 yards from the shore, and several miles west of the mouth of the Jordan. Its density at 18° C. was 1.2089, and thus more nearly approached the value given by Bernays for a depth of 300 metres, namely, 1.253.

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FRIEND, J. Examination of Dead Sea Water for Eka-Cæsium and Eka-Iodine. Nature 117, 789–790 (1926).

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