Blue haze and dark air

As one drives the backroads toward Petra, Jordan, there are many spectacular views. Here, I point the camera toward the crumbling edge of the Great Rift Valley, or Ghor, as it is locally known. The GRV is an enormous seam between plates of the earth's crust. The edge of the Arabian plate is before you as it splinters and erodes, revealing a section of limestones, sandstones, and in its deepest portions, granites. The haze obscures the view to the far side of the GRV where the edge of the African plate rises.

The Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea all rest in the gap between these plates. Near Petra, where I took this shot, it is dry desert. Beyond those Nubian sandstone bluffs (the darker and steeper cliffs) the area attracts the name aravah (or arabah) in the Hebrew Bible. As examples of mentions, see Joshua 3:16 or Amos 6:14.