Basins are large depressions in the land that water drains into from higher terrain. Jordan is composed of several large basins, including the Dead Sea, Aqaba, Azraq, and Jafr basins. With the exception of the Aqaba basin, Jordan’s drainage basins have no outlets to other bodies of water (endorheic basins). The water they collect in rainy years either seeps into underground aquifers or evaporates, leaving a high concentration of salts and minerals as in the Dead Sea and Azraq. In most desert depressions, the high evaporation rate turns shallow rainwater pools into mudflats known as Qa’ in Arabic.
Jordan is composed of the Zarqa, Azraq, and Hamad basins in the north; the Dead Sea, Wadi Araba, and Aqaba basins in the west; the Hasa and Jafr basins in central Jordan; and the Disi basin in the south. Desert pools occur in rainy winters and can last through spring.