The Jordan Valley (Arabic , Ghor Al-Urdon or Al-Ghawr); forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. Unlike most other river valleys, the term “Jordan Valley” often applies just to the lower course of the Jordan River, from the spot where it exits the Sea of Galilee in the north, to the end of its course where it flows into the Dead Sea in the south.
In a wider sense, the term may also cover the Dead Sea basin and the Wadi Arabah or Arabah valley, which is the Rift Valley segment beyond the Dead Sea and ending at Aqaba, 155 km (96 mi) farther south.
The valley is a long and narrow trough, it is 105 km (65 mi) long with a width averaging 10 km (6.2 mi) with some points narrowing to 4 km (2.5 mi) over most of the course before widening out to a 20 km (12 mi) delta when reaching the Dead Sea.
Due to meandering the length of the river itself is 220 km (140 mi). This is the deepest valley in the world, beginning at an elevation of −212 m (−696 ft) below sea level and terminating at an elevation lower than −400 m (−1,300 ft) below sea level. On both sides, to the east and west, the valley is bordered by high, steep, escarpments with the difference in elevation between the valley floor and the surrounding mountains varying between 1,200 m (3,900 ft) to 1,700 m (5,600 ft)
The Jordan Valley is several degrees warmer than adjacent areas, and its year-round agricultural climate, fertile soils and water supply made it a site for agriculture dating to about 10,000 years ago. By about 3000 BCE, produce from the valley was being exported to neighboring regions.
The area’s fertile lands were chronicled in the Old Testament. Modern methods of farming have vastly expanded the agricultural output of the area.The construction of the East Ghor Canal by Jordan in the 1950s (now known as the King Abdullah Canal), which runs down the east bank of the Jordan Valley for 69 kilometers, has brought new areas under irrigation.The introduction of portable greenhouses has brought about a seven-fold increase in productivity, allowing Jordan to export large amounts of fruit and vegetables year-round.
The Jordan River rises from several sources, mainly the Anti-Lebanon mountains in Syria. It flows down into the Sea of Galilee, 212 meters below sea level, and then drains into the Dead Sea. South of the Dead Sea, the Jordan Valley turns into the hot, dry Arabah valley.