The Sinkhole phenomenon in the Dead Sea
Question:

Watch the following movie:

In the movie above it is mentioned that one of the crucial factors of the sinkholes in the Dead Sea area is the declining water level of the Dead Sea in the last couple of decades.

In 2015 the Geological Survey of Israel [ http://tinyurl.com/grv6jkg ] investigated this phenomenon. 
They studied the following parameters:

  1. The influence of the inflow of water from the winter rains into the Dead Sea on its water level.
  2. The loss of water from the Dead Sea due to the evaporation processes used in mineral production by the Dead Sea industries which occurs mainly in the summer.
  3. The effect of the damming of water reservoirs (in Israel and Jordan) on the inflow into the Dead Sea.

The study found that:

  • The water level of the Dead Sea is lowering faster each year;
  • There has been  no significant change in the declining rate of water level during the summer in the last 40 years ;
  • The decrease each winter in the water level of the sea has been larger than the decrease of the previous  winter;
  • During the past 40 years, there has been no significant change in the amount of the rainfall in the area;
  • There has been ongoing increased utilization of water from the reservoirs  for drinking and irrigation in the past 40 years, which has reduced the amount of river water draining into the Dead Sea.

Which of the following conclusions regarding the causes of the increased rate of the declining water level of the Dead Sea in the last 40 years can be reached by this study?

4 People tried to answer this question

In the winter the Dead Sea's level is lowered due to less rainfall.

All the parameters have the same influence on the increased rate of the lowering of the Dead Sea.

The lowering of the Dead Sea happens faster due to the industry's evaporation techniques.

The main cause of the increased rate of the lowering of the Dead Sea is the increased utilization of the water from the reservoirs.

The only parameter that shows increase in its rate during the last 40 years according to the research is the damming of water flow to the Dead Sea for mankind reasons.

During the past 40 years, there has been no significant change in the amount of the rainfall in the area.

The amount the sea level lowered in the summer during the last 40 years has had no significant change. Consequently, there is no effect of the industry on the change of the rate of the lowering of the level of the Dead Sea.

The findings show significant differences between the influences of the different parameters.



Comments:
1.  Shoval Eli (12.01.2017 pm 12.15.56)
Sinkhole as side effect

Hi,

 

You gave a very nice presentation, with a lot of information about sinkholes.

On my opinion, you've put too much info in such a short video, and it covers many aspects of the sinkholes phenomenon, that it too much for the average student.

As for the question, you gave, it looks as if you took a foot note from the clip, and it is hard to connect or even learn from the clip about the relevant info given in the question.

Your question is dealing with the water level reasons, and the clip is showing sinkholes.

As for the question, itself, there I have the problem with the right answer, because there is no reference in the paragraph itself or in the clip as for what is the definite reason for the decrease of the water level in the dead sea.

You could rephrase the answer to start as: “one of the main reason, believed by the scientist for the lowering of the water level….”.  this way you make an opening to have some more reasons believed by other scientists for this problem.

Moreover, there is no reference to the sinkholes in the question.  You should mention it at the beginning of the question, saying “one of the reasons for sinkholes is the drop in the salty water level of the dead sea. A research found that it happens….”

thank you for sharing 

2.  Suleiman Edy (14.01.2017 am 08.48.07)
Sinkholes in the Dead Sea

The material that was represented in the video and in the question can elaborate the phenomenon of the Sinkholes in the Dead Sea, in the question most of the facts are very close and I think there are some sections can be dropped, all the the explanation is focused on the inflow of water from the winter rains into the Dead Sea and the loss of water from the sea due to the evaporation processes used in mineral production by the Dead Sea industries, to answer the question is not so easy, there are two very close answers:

(1) The lowering of the Dead Sea happens faster due to the industry's evaporation techniques.

(2) The main cause of the increased rate of the lowering of the Dead Sea is the increased utilization of the water from the reservoirs.

I chosed the second one but after a bit of hesitation, this mean that you did a good job.

3.  Asakle Shadi (24.01.2017 am 12.27.24)
Comments and suggestions

Hi,

Your question was presented properly, as it represents plenty of information, and the video (presentation) demonstrate the issue very good. In addition, in my opinion, you chose good distractors.

There is a strong correlation between the information points that you generated and the scientific topic. However,  the point that Miriam generated presents general information on the properties of the Dead Sea, regardless of the scientific subject, (the sinkholes).
 
The background presented prior to the question as literal text about the study, the presentation, and the information points on the map were sufficient for understanding the question issue. However, I suggest you to generate a question that focuses more on the subject of sinkholes, not just one issue of the increased rate of the lowering of the Dead Sea level.

In my opinion, the question and the points contain information with numerous links, so there is no need to add more. Also I would suggest to change the wording of the question for something related to sinkholes.

4.  Levin Ganit (11.02.2017 pm 12.53.37)
Reply to Eli's comment

Hello Eli,

Thank you for your comment, your advice was very helpful.

Indeed, originally it was difficult to see the connection between the question and the movie. The movie focuses on sinkholes and the question focuses on the factors for the declining water level. The declining water level is the crucial factor in the sinkhole formation, as was explained in the movie. Therefore, we accepted your advice and added an introductory sentence at the beginning of the question which explains the connection more explicitly.

Regarding your comment that we put too much information in such a short video, we think that it is all important and relevant information for understanding the phenomenon. The video mostly concentrates on the scientific issues of sinkholes, such as defining sinkholes and explaining how they are formed near the Dead Sea. Furthermore, the information given should stimulate the student to think and connect the phenomenon to the human effect and its implications.
Contrary to your opinion, we think that the average student can assimilate and process the information in the movie. Particularly since there does exist the possibility to stop and replay the movie in order to promote better understanding. 

You mentioned that you had a problem with the right answer because there is no reference in the paragraph or in the video, to what is the definite reason for the decrease of the water level in the Dead Sea. There should not be an explicit reference for the definite or even the main reason. Our purpose in this question is to examine the ability of the students to analyze study findings and reach conclusions, so only one of the suggested answers can be definitely reflected with those conclusions.

You also suggested we rephrase the answer in such a way that leaves room for some more reasons believed by other scientists. However, our question is not intended to present views of other scientists, but only to present one study, out of many, and its findings. We added to the question the words "by this study" in order to focus this point better.

Thank you, Sinkholes Group.

5.  Levin Ganit (11.02.2017 pm 12.57.03)
Reply to Edi's comment

Hi Edi,

We are glad that you liked the question and that it was challenging for you. We hope you enriched your knowledge about sinkholes and the Dead Sea by answering the question.

Regarding your remark that some of the sections can be dropped, it is unclear which sections you mean. We will be glad to explain the reason why they are necessary if you will elaborate about the exact text that seems redundant to you.

Thank you, Sinkholes Group.

6.  Levin Ganit (11.02.2017 pm 01.00.15)
Reply to Shadi's comment

Hello Shadi,

Thank you for your comments. 

Clarifications were added to Miriam's point explaining the connection between the question and the salinity of the Dead Sea. The high salt content of the Dead Sea is an important factor in causing sinkholes, so there is a strong connection to the scientific subject. Regardless of this, general information about the Dead Sea is interesting and informative to a global audience. 

Your suggestion to generate a question that focuses more on the subject of sinkholes was also helpful in clarifying the need for broadening the introduction, thank you. The increased rate of the lowering of the Dead Sea level plays an integral part in causing sinkholes. It is also an example of human influence on nature and its implications. We added more explanations of the connection between the research presented and the video.

Thank you, Sinkholes Group.



History of edits
Edited BY: Ganit Levin Edit Date: 2017-02-08 15:22:24
Edited BY: RONIT SHVILY Edit Date: 2017-01-09 11:14:29
Edited BY: Miriam Wallach Edit Date: 2017-01-09 09:22:45
Edited BY: RONIT SHVILY Edit Date: 2017-01-08 18:12:36
Edited BY: Miriam Wallach Edit Date: 2017-01-08 10:32:32
Edited BY: Miriam Wallach Edit Date: 2017-01-08 10:31:57
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