Of course, with such a pressure as this, there was likely to be percolation under the foundations and a washing-out of the soil.
But in order that the action may be complete the initial resistance to percolation of water at every part of the soil must be such that the motion of the water through it shall be insufficient to disturb the water-borne mineral and organic particles lodged on the surface or in the interstices of the soil.
Precisely the same thing happens in the actual crust of the earth, except that, in the formations usually met with, the strata are so irregularly permeable that no such uniform percolation occurs, and most of the water, instead of oozing out near the sea-level, meets with obstructions which cause it to issue, sometimes below the sea-level and sometimes above it, in the form of concentrated springs.
Thus, if there is any percolation between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, it must be towards the latter.
Where the strata are not uniformly porous, they may resist the passage of water from the direction of the sea or they may assist it; and round the whole coast of England, in the Magnesian limestone to the northeast, in the Chalk and Greensand to the east and south, and in the New Red Sandstone to the west, the number of wells which have been abandoned as sources of potable supply, owing to the percolation of sea water, is very great.