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Eilat Region

By Uzi Avner

INTRODUCTION

The Eilat region is arbitrarily defined as the southern tip of modern Israel, from the Shizafon junction in the north to Eilat in the south. The area is hyper-arid, with an annual average rainfall of only 28 mm, an annual potential evaporation rate of 4,000 mm, and summer mid-day temperatures reaching over 40 degrees C. As a result, perennial water sources are rare, the Saharo-Arabian vegetation is restricted to the wadi beds, and the carrying capacity for animal and man is low. The landscape varies and changes abruptly, with mountains up to 892 m above sea level, broad valleys (‘Uvda, Sayarim, and Se‘ifim), the deep Arabah, and the shores of the Gulf of ‘Aqaba. The lithology is also rich and variegated, with igneous and metamorphic rocks, sandstone, and limestone.

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