Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Geography [Paper-I]: Physical, Social, Economic Geography of World, India and Kerala, Geophysical phenomena like Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcanoes, Cyclone, Flood, Landslides.
- According to a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, Dallol geothermal springs in Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression do not support life.
Place on Earth Which Has Water, But Absolutely No Life
- Extremophile microbes can adapt to environmental conditions that are too extreme for everything else.
- However, the new research has pointed to a place on Earth (Danakil Depression) with bubbling pools of water and mounds of salt covering its landscape that is too difficult even for these microorganisms.
- The study identifies two barriers: magnesium-dominated brines that cause cells to break down; and an environment having simultaneously very low pH and high salt, a combination that makes adaptation highly difficult.
About Danakil Depression
- The Danakil Depression in northeastern Ethiopia is one of the world’s hottest places, as well as one of its lowest, at 100 metres below sea level.
- At the northern end of the Great Rift Valley, and separated by live volcanoes from the Red Sea, the plain was formed by the evaporation of an inland water body.
- All the water entering Danakil evaporates, and no streams flow out from its extreme environment. It is covered with more than 10 lakh tonnes of salt.
- The Depression is the northern part of the Afar Triangle, a geological depression caused by the Afar Triple Junction: a place where three tectonic plates join.
- The Depression overlaps the borders of Eritrea, Djibouti and the entire Afar Region of Ethiopia. It is part of the great East African Rift Valley.
[Source: Indian Express, nationalgeographic.org]