A joint is a break of natural origin in the continuity of either a layer or body of rock that lacks any visible or measurable movement parallel to the surface of the fracture. Although they can occur singly, they most frequently occur as joint sets, a joint set is a family of parallel, evenly spaced joints that can be identified through mapping and analysis of the orientations and physical properties. A joint system consists of two or more intersecting joint sets, the distinction between joints and faults hinges on the terms visible or measurable which depends on the scale of observation. Faults differ from joints in that they exhibit visible or measurable lateral movement between the surfaces of the fracture. Joints are among the most universal geologic structures as they are found in most every exposure of rock and they vary greatly in appearance and arrangement, and occur in quite different tectonic environments. Often, the origin of the stresses that created certain joints and associated joint sets can be quite ambiguous, unclear.
The most prominent joints occur in the most well-consolidated and highly competent rocks, such as sandstone, quartzite, Joints may be open fractures or filled by various materials. Joints, which are infilled by precipitated minerals are called veins, Joints result from brittle fracture of a rock body or layer as the result of tensile stresses. These tensile stresses either were induced or imposed from outside, e. g, when tensional stresses stretch a body or layer of rock such that its tensile strength is exceeded, it breaks. When this happens the rock fractures in a parallel to the maximum principal stress. This leads to the development of a single sub-parallel joint set, continued deformation may lead to development of one or more additional joint sets. The presence of the first set strongly affects the orientation in the rock layer, often causing subsequent sets to form at a high angle, often 90°. Joints are classified either by the responsible for their formation or their geometry. The geometry of joints refers to the orientation of joints as either plotted on stereonets, in terms of geometry, three major types of joints, nonsystematic joints, systematic joints, and columnar jointing are recognized.
Nonsystematic joints are joints that are so irregular in form, spacing, as a result, they occur as families of joints that form recognizable joint sets. Based upon the angle at which joint sets of systematic joints intersect to form a joint system, systematic joints can be subdivided into conjugate, the angles at which joint sets within a joint system commonly intersect is called by structural geologists as the dihedral angles. When the dihedral angles are nearly 90° within a joint system, when the dihedral angles are from 30 to 60° within a joint system, the joint sets are known as conjugate joint sets. Within regions that have experienced tectonic deformation, systematic joints are typically associated with either layered or bedded strata that has folded into anticlines and synclines
The Deccan Traps are a large igneous province located on the Deccan Plateau of west-central India and one of the largest volcanic features on Earth. They consist of layers of solidified flood basalt that together are more than 2,000 m thick, cover an area of c.500,000 km2. Originally, the Deccan Traps may have covered c.1,500,000 km2, the term trap has been used in geology since 1785–95 for such rock formations. It is derived from the Scandinavian word for stairs and refers to the hills forming the landscape of the region. The Deccan Traps began forming 66.25 million years ago, the bulk of the volcanic eruption occurred at the Western Ghats some 66 million years ago. This series of eruptions may have lasted less than 30,000 years in total, the original area covered by the lava flows is estimated to have been as large as 1.5 million km², approximately half the size of modern India. The Deccan Traps region was reduced to its current size by erosion and plate tectonics, the release of volcanic gases, particularly sulphur dioxide, during the formation of the traps contributed to contemporary climate change.
Data points to a drop in temperature of 2 °C in this period. Because of its magnitude, scientists formerly speculated that the released during the formation of the Deccan Traps played a role in the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. However, the current consensus among the community is that the extinction was triggered by the Chicxulub impact event in North America. Work published in 2014 by geologist Gerta Keller and others on the timing of the Deccan volcanism suggests the extinction may have been caused by both the volcanism and the impact event and this was followed by a similar study in 2015. Within the Deccan Traps at least 95% of the lavas are tholeiitic basalts, other rock types do occur, Alkali basalts Nephelinites Lamprophyre Carbonatites Mantle xenoliths have been described from Kachchh and elsewhere in the western Deccan. The Deccan Traps are famous for the beds of fossils that have found between layers of lava. The infratrappean and intertrappean beds contain fossil freshwater mollusks and it is postulated that the Deccan Traps eruption was associated with a deep mantle plume.
The area of long-term eruption, known as the Réunion hotspot, is suspected of causing the Deccan Traps eruption and opening the rift that once separated the Seychelles plateau from India. Seafloor spreading at the boundary between the Indian and African Plates subsequently pushed India north over the plume, which now lies under Réunion island in the Indian Ocean, the mantle plume model has, been challenged. Data continues to emerge which supports the plume model, the motion of the Indian tectonic plate and the eruptive history of the Deccan traps show strong correlations. Based on data from marine magnetic profiles, a pulse of unusually rapid plate motion begins at the time as the first pulse of Deccan flood basalts
Wyoming /waɪˈoʊmɪŋ/ is a state in the mountain region of the western United States. The state is the tenth largest by area, the least populous, Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. Cheyenne is the capital and the most populous city in Wyoming, the state population was estimated at 586,107 in 2015, which is less than the population of 31 of the largest U. S. cities. The Crow, Arapaho and Shoshone were some of the inhabitants of the region. Southwestern Wyoming was included in the Spanish Empire and Mexican territory until it was ceded to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War. The region acquired the name Wyoming when a bill was introduced to Congress in 1865 to provide a government for the territory of Wyoming. The territory was named after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, with the name ultimately being derived from the Munsee word xwé, wamənk, the mineral extraction industry—especially coal, natural gas, and trona—along with the travel and tourism sector are the main drivers behind Wyomings economy.
Agriculture has historically been an important component of the economy with the main commodities being livestock, sugar beets, grain. The climate is generally semi-arid and continental, being drier and windier in comparison to the rest of the United States, except for the 1964 election, Wyoming has been a politically conservative state since the 1950s, with the Republican party winning every presidential election. Wyoming is one of three states to have borders along only straight latitudinal and longitudinal lines, rather than being defined by natural landmarks. Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. It is the tenth largest state in the United States in total area, from the north border to the south border it is 276 miles, and from the east to the west border is 365 miles at its south end and 342 miles at the north end. The Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, the state is a great plateau broken by many mountain ranges.
Surface elevations range from the summit of Gannett Peak in the Wind River Mountain Range, at 13,804 feet, to the Belle Fourche River valley in the states northeast corner, at 3,125 feet. In the northwest are the Absaroka, Owl Creek, Gros Ventre, Wind River, in the north central are the Big Horn Mountains, in the northeast, the Black Hills, and in the southern region the Laramie and Sierra Madre ranges. The Snowy Range in the central part of the state is an extension of the Colorado Rockies in both geology and appearance. The Wind River Range in the west central part of the state is remote and includes more than 40 mountain peaks in excess of 13,000 ft tall in addition to Gannett Peak, the highest peak in the state. The Big Horn Mountains in the central portion are somewhat isolated from the bulk of the Rocky Mountains
Ignimbrites are made of a very poorly sorted mixture of volcanic ash and pumice lapilli, commonly with scattered lithic fragments. The ash is composed of shards and crystal fragments. Ignimbrites may be loose and unconsolidated, or lithified rock called lapilli-tuff, near the volcanic source, ignimbrites commonly contain thick accumulations of lithic blocks, and distally, many show meter-thick accumulations of rounded cobbles of pumice. Ignimbrites may be white, pink, brown or black depending on their composition, many pale ignimbrites are dacitic or rhyolitic. Darker coloured ignimbrites may be densely welded volcanic glass or, less commonly, there are two main models that have been proposed to explain the deposition of ignimbrites from a pyroclastic density current, the en masse deposition and the progressive aggradation models. The en masse model was proposed by volcanologist Robert Stephen John Sparks in 1976, Sparks attributed the poor sorting in ignimbrites to laminar flows of very high particle concentration.
Pyroclastic flows were envisioned as being similar to flows, with a body undergoing laminar flow. The flow would travel as a flow, with an essentially non-deforming mass travelling on a thin shear zone. This would produce a unit with an inversely graded base. There are several problems with the en masse model, since ignimbrite is a deposit, its characteristics cannot completely represent the flow, and the deposit may only record the depositional process. It has been posited that the changes are recording progressive aggradation at the base of the flow from an eruption whose composition changes with time. For this to be so, the base of the flow cannot be turbulent, the instantaneous deposition of an entire body of material is not possible because displacement of the fluid is not possible instantaneously. Any displacement of the fluid would mobilize the upper part of the flow, rheomorphic structures are only observed in high grade ignimbrites. There are two types of flow, post-depositional re-mobilization, and late stage viscous flow.
While there is debate in the field of the relative importance of either mechanism. A change from particulate flow to a fluid could cause the rapid en masse cooling in the last few meters. It is theorized that transformation occurs at a layer at the base of the flow. Another model proposed is that the density current became stationary before the structures form
Fionn mac Cumhaill
Fionn mac Cumhaill, sometimes transcribed in English as MacCool or MacCoul, was a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, occurring in the mythologies of Scotland and the Isle of Man. The stories of Fionn and his followers the Fianna, form the Fenian Cycle, much of it narrated in the voice of Fionns son, Fionn means blond, white, or bright. The name Fionn is related to the Welsh name Gwyn, as in the mythological figure Gwyn ap Nudd, and to the continental Celtic Vindos, the 19th-century Irish revolutionary organisation known as the Fenian Brotherhood took its name from these legends. The Scottish form of his name, Fingal /ˈfɪŋɡəl/, comes from a retelling of the legends in epic form by the 18th-century poet James Macpherson, most of Fionns early adventures are recounted in the narrative The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn. He was the son of Cumhall, leader of the Fianna, Cumhall abducted Muirne after her father refused him her hand, so Tadg appealed to the High King, Conn of the Hundred Battles, who outlawed Cumhall.
The Battle of Cnucha was fought between Conn and Cumhall, and Cumhall was killed by Goll mac Morna, who took leadership of the Fianna. Fionn Mac Cumhaill was said to be originally from Ballyfin, in Laois, the direct translation of Ballyfin from Irish to English is town of Fionn. In Fiacals house Muirne gave birth to a son, whom she called Deimne. Muirne left the boy in the care of Bodhmall and a woman, Liath Luachra. The young Fionn met the leprechaun-like druid and poet Finn Eces, or Finnegas, near the river Boyne, eventually the old man caught it, and told the boy to cook it for him. While cooking it Deimne burned his thumb, and instinctively put his thumb in his mouth and this imbued him with the salmons wisdom, and when Finn Eces saw that he had gained wisdom, he gave young Fionn the whole salmon to eat. Fionn knew how to revenge against Goll, and in subsequent stories was able to call on the knowledge of the salmon by putting his thumb to the tooth that had first tasted the salmon. The story of Fionn and the salmon of knowledge and the Welsh tale of Gwion Bach are similar, Fionn arrived at Tara, armed with his fathers crane-skin bag of magical weapons.
He kept himself awake by touching the point of his magically red-hot spear to his forehead, the pain kept Fionn awake, allowing him to pursue and kill Aillen with the same spear. After that his heritage was recognised and he was given command of the Fianna, Goll willingly stepped aside, Fionn demanded compensation for his fathers death from Tadg, threatening war or single combat against him if he refused. Tadg offered him his home, the hill of Allen, as compensation, Fionn met his most famous wife, when he was out hunting. She had been turned into a deer by a druid, Fear Doirich, Fionns hounds and Sceólang, born of a human enchanted into the form of a hound, recognised her as human, and Fionn brought her home. She transformed back into a woman the moment she set foot on Fionns land and she and Fionn married and she was soon pregnant
In modern usage, a causeway is a road or railway on top an embankment usually across a broad body of water or wetland. When first used, the word appeared in a such as causey way making clear its derivation from the earlier form causey. This word seems to have come from the source by two different routes. It derives ultimately, from the Latin for heel, anciently, the construction was trodden down, one layer at a time, often by slaves or flocks of sheep. Today, this work is done by machines, the same technique would have been used for road embankments, raised river banks, sea banks and fortification earthworks. The second derivation route is simply the hard, trodden surface of a path, the name by this route came to be applied to a firmly-surfaced road. It is now little-used except in dialect and in the names of roads which were notable for their solidly-made surface. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica states causey, a mound or dam, which is derived, through the Norman-French caucie, from the late Latin via calciata, a road stamped firm with the feet.
The word is comparable in both meanings with the French chaussée, from a form of which it reached English by way of Norman French. The French adjective, chaussée, carries the meaning of having given a hardened surface. As a noun chaussée is used on the one hand for a metalled carriageway, other languages have a noun with similar dual meaning. The Welsh is relevant here, as it has a verb, sarnu, a transport corridor that is carried instead on a series of arches, perhaps approaching a bridge, is a viaduct. In the U. S. a short stretch of viaduct is called an overpass, some low causeways across shore waters become inaccessible when covered at high tide. The modern embankment may be constructed within a cofferdam, two parallel steel sheet pile or concrete retaining walls, anchored to each other with steel cables or rods. This construction may serve as a dyke that keeps two bodies of water apart, such as bodies with a different water level on each side, or with water on one side. This may be the purpose of a structure, the road providing a hardened crest for the dike.
It provides access for maintenance as well perhaps, as a public service, notable causeways include those that connect Singapore and Malaysia and Saudi Arabia and Venice to the mainland, all of which carry roadways and railways. In the Netherlands there are a number of prominent dykes which double as causeways, including the Afsluitdijk, Brouwersdam, in Louisiana, two very long bridges, called the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, stretch across Lake Pontchartrain for almost 38 km, making them the worlds longest bridges
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is a multipurpose spacecraft designed to conduct reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit. The US$720 million spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin under the supervision of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The mission is managed by the California Institute of Technology, at the JPL, in La Cañada Flintridge, for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington and it was launched August 12,2005, and attained Martian orbit on March 10,2006. In November 2006, after five months of aerobraking, it entered its science orbit. It paves the way for future spacecraft by monitoring Mars daily weather and surface conditions, studying potential landing sites, MROs telecommunications system will transfer more data back to Earth than all previous interplanetary missions combined, and MRO will serve as a highly capable relay satellite for future missions. One of two missions considered for the 2003 Mars launch window, the MRO proposal lost against what became known as the Mars Exploration Rovers.
The orbiter mission was rescheduled for launch in 2005, and NASA announced its name, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. MRO is modeled after NASAs highly successful Mars Global Surveyor to conduct surveillance of Mars from orbit, early specifications of the satellite included a large camera to take high resolution pictures of Mars. Garvin, the Mars exploration program scientist for NASA, proclaimed that MRO would be a microscope in orbit, the satellite was to include a visible-near-infrared spectrograph. On October 3,2001, NASA chose Lockheed Martin as the contractor for the spacecrafts fabrication. By the end of 2001 all of the instruments were selected. There were no major setbacks during MROs construction, and the spacecraft was moved to John F. Kennedy Space Center on May 1,2005 to prepare it for launch, MRO science operations were initially scheduled to last two Earth years, from November 2006 to November 2008. One of the main goals is to map the Martian landscape with its high-resolution cameras in order to choose landing sites for future surface missions.
The MRO played an important role in choosing the site of the Phoenix Lander. The initial site chosen by scientists was imaged with the HiRISE camera, after analysis with HiRISE and the Mars Odysseys THEMIS instrument a new site was chosen. Mars Science Laboratory, a highly maneuverable rover, had its landing site inspected, the MRO provided critical navigation data during their landings and acts as a telecommunications relay. MRO is using its onboard scientific equipment to study the Martian climate, weather and geology, in addition, MRO was tasked with looking for the remains of the previously lost Mars Polar Lander and Beagle 2 spacecraft. Beagle 2 was found by the orbiter at the beginning of 2015, after its main science operations are completed, the probes extended mission is to be the communication and navigation system for landers and rover probes
A makhtesh (Hebrew, מַכְתֵּשׁ, plural, מַכְתְּשִׁים is a geological landform considered unique to the Negev desert of Israel and the Sinai peninsula of Egypt. A makhtesh has steep walls of resistant rock surrounding a deep closed valley which is drained by a single wadi. The valleys have limited vegetation and soil, containing a variety of different colored rocks and diverse fauna, the best known and largest makhtesh is Makhtesh Ramon. Although commonly referred to as craters, these formations are erosion cirques, craters are formed by the impact of a meteor or volcanic eruption, whereas makhteshim are created by erosion. The word makhtesh is the Hebrew word for a mortar grinder, the geological landform was given this name, because of its similarity to a grinding bowl. Where a hard layer of rock covers softer rocks, erosion removes the softer minerals relatively quickly. The harder rocks eventually collapse under their own weight and a crater-like valley structure is formed, in Negev and Sinai makhteshim, the hard rocks are limestone and dolomite, while the inner softer rocks are chalk or sandstone.
The center of the Negev is dominated by northeast-southwest anticlinal ridges, the crests of four ridges host five deep valleys surrounded by steep walls. The upper half consists of limestone and dolomite and the bottom of friable sandstone. Each valley, known as a makhtesh, is drained by a river bed. The Negev has five makhteshim, Makhtesh Ramon, Makhtesh Gadol, Makhtesh Katan, Makhtesh Ramon is exceptional as it is drained by two rivers. It is the largest makhtesh at over 40km long, 2–10km wide, the rocks in this makhtesh contain thousands of ammonite fossils, as well as volcanic and metamorphic rocks. Makhtesh Gadol At the time of naming, Makhtesh Ramon was uncharted and so this was thought to be the largest makhtesh, Makhtesh Katan is the smallest major makhtesh at 5km by 7km and was charted in 1942 by Jewish explorers. The two makhteshim in Sinai, have no names for the basin, but their walls have several names including Jabal al-Manzur or Gebel Maghara, mazor and Krasnov, editors The Makhteshim Country - a Laboratory of Nature.
Pensoft Publishers, Sofia,2001,411 pages
The Giants Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is known as Clochán an Aifir or Clochán na bhFomhórach in Irish and it is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles northeast of the town of Bushmills. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, in a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giants Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot, most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are some with four, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres high, and the lava in the cliffs is 28 metres thick in places. Much of the Giants Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site is today owned and managed by the National Trust, the remainder of the site is owned by the Crown Estate and a number of private landowners. As the lava cooled, contraction occurred, in many cases the horizontal fracture has resulted in a bottom face that is convex while the upper face of the lower segment is concave, producing what are called ball and socket joints.
The size of the columns is primarily determined by the speed at which lava from a volcanic eruption cools, the extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today. The basalts were originally part of a volcanic plateau called the Thulean Plateau which formed during the Paleocene. According to legend, the columns are the remains of a built by a giant. The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill, from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner, Fionn accepted the challenge and built the causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. In one version of the story, Fionn defeats Benandonner, in another, Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realises that his foe is much bigger than he. Fionns wife, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle, when Benandonner sees the size of the baby, he reckons that its father, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn could not follow, across the sea, there are identical basalt columns at Fingals Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this.
In overall Irish mythology, Fionn mac Cumhaill is not a giant, the Fomhóraigh are a race of supernatural beings in Irish mythology who were sometimes described as giants and who may have originally been part of a pre-Christian pantheon. In the caption to the plates French geologist Nicolas Desmarest suggested, for the first time in print, visitors can walk over the basalt columns which are at the edge of the sea, a half-mile walk from the entrance to the site. The Causeway was without a permanent visitors centre between 2000 and 2012, as the building, built in 1986, burned down in 2000. A privately financed proposal was given approval in 2007 by the Environment Minister
Fingals Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, known for its natural acoustics. The National Trust for Scotland owns the cave as part of a National Nature Reserve and it became known as Fingals Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson. Fingals Cave is formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns within a Paleocene lava flow, similar in structure to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland and those of nearby Ulva. As cooling continued these cracks gradually extended toward the centre of the flow, similar hexagonal fracture patterns are found in desiccation cracks in mud where contraction is due to loss of water instead of cooling. The caves size and naturally arched roof, and the sounds produced by the echoes of waves. The caves Gaelic name, An Uaimh Bhinn, means the melodious cave, little is known of the early history of Staffa, although the Swiss town of Stäfa on Lake Zurich was named after the island by a monk from nearby Iona.
Part of the Ulva estate of the Clan MacQuarrie from a date until 1777. It became known as Fingals Cave after the hero of an epic poem by 18th century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson. It formed part of his Ossian cycle of poems claimed to have based on old Scottish Gaelic poems. The legend of the Giants Causeway has Fionn or Finn building the causeway between Ireland and Scotland, the cave has a large arched entrance and is filled by the sea. Several sightseeing cruises organised from April to September by local companies pass the entrance to the cave, from the inside, the entrance seems to frame the island of Iona across the water. Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn visited in 1829 and wrote an overture, The Hebrides, Op.26, mendelssohns overture popularized the cave as a tourist destination. M. W. Turner, who painted Staffa, Fingals Cave in 1832, queen Victoria made the trip. The playwright August Strindberg set scenes from his play A Dream Play in a place called Fingals Grotto, Scots novelist Sir Walter Scott described Fingals Cave as one of the most extraordinary places I ever beheld.
It exceeded, in my mind, every description I had heard of it, artist Matthew Barney used the cave along with the Giants Causeway for the opening and closing scenes of his art film, Cremaster 3. In 2008, the video artist Richard Ashrowan spent several days recording the interior of Fingals Cave for an exhibition at the Foksal Gallery in Poland, one of Pink Floyds early songs bears this locations name. This instrumental was written for the film Zabriskie Point but not used, lloyd House at Caltech has a mural representing Fingals Cave. The hallway that features this mural houses a statue named Fingal
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. The country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israels economy and technology center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, in 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, next year, the Jewish Agency declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states, in the course of which it has occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and it extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israels occupation of the Palestinian territories is the worlds longest military occupation in modern times, efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in peace.
However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have successfully been signed, the population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2017 to be 8,671,100 people. It is the worlds only Jewish-majority state, with 74. 8% being designated as Jewish, the countrys second largest group of citizens are Arabs, at 20. 8%. The great majority of Israeli Arabs are Sunni Muslims, including significant numbers of semi-settled Negev Bedouins, other minorities include Arameans, Assyrians, Black Hebrew Israelites, Circassians and Samaritans. Israel hosts a significant population of foreign workers and asylum seekers from Africa and Asia, including illegal migrants from Sudan, Eritrea. In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish, Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature, Israel is a developed country and an OECD member, with the 35th-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2016.
The country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentage of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East and the third highest in Asia, in the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term Israeli to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel. The name Israel in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, jacobs twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. The earliest known artifact to mention the word Israel as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Islam