Gulf of Suez

The Gulf of Suez (Arabic: خليج السويس‎, translit. khalīǧ as-suwais; formerly بحر القلزم, baḥar al-qulzum, lit. "Sea of Calm") is a gulf at the northern end of the Red Sea, to the west of the Sinai Peninsula. Situated to the east of the Sinai Peninsula is the smaller Gulf of Aqaba. The gulf was formed within a relatively young but now inactive Gulf of Suez Rift rift basin, dating back about 26 million years.[1] It stretches some 300 kilometres (190 mi) north by northwest, terminating at the Egyptian city of Suez and the entrance to the Suez Canal. Along the mid-line of the gulf is the boundary between Africa and Asia.[2] The entrance of the gulf lies atop the mature Gemsa oil and gas field.[3]

Gulf of Suez
Gulf of Suez from orbit 2007
Visible bodies are the Gulf of Suez (west, left in photo), the Gulf of Aqaba (east, right in photo), and the Red Sea (south, bottom left in photo). Photo dated February 2009.
Gulf of Suez map
Coordinates28°45′N 33°00′E / 28.750°N 33.000°ECoordinates: 28°45′N 33°00′E / 28.750°N 33.000°E
Max. length314 km (195 mi)
Max. width32 km (20 mi)
Average depth40 m (130 ft)
Max. depth70 m (230 ft)
Northernmost part of Gulf of Suez with town Suez on the map of 1856


The gulf occupies the northwestern arm of the Red Sea between Africa and the Sinai Peninsula. It is the third arm of the triple junction rift system, the second arm being the Gulf of Aqaba.

The length of the gulf, from its mouth at the Strait of Gubal (alternate name: Strait of Jubal)[4] to its head at the city of Suez, is 195 miles (314 km), and it varies in width from 12 to 20 miles (19 to 32 km).


The International Hydrographic Organization defines the southern limit of the gulf as "A line running from Ras Muhammed (27°43'N) to the South point of Shadwan Island (34°02'E) and thence Westward on a parallel (27°27'N) to the coast of Africa".[5]


The Gemsa Field was discovered in 1869, but did not produce until 1910. The Hurghada Field produced in 1913. By 1998, over 1900 wells had been drilled and 120 fields identified. The major oil source rock is the Upper Cretaceous marine Sudr Formation, the limestone Campanian Brown/Duwi Member in particular, which is 25-70 m thick in the gulf.[6]

The gulf sedimentary basin stratigraphic section consists of prerift Paleozoic to Oligocene clastic rocks and carbonates, and synrift and postrift Miocene to Holocene clastics and evaporites.[7]:236 Three large oil fields are in the gulf: the El Morgan discovered in 1964, Belayim discovered in 1955, and the October Field discovered in 1977.[7]:238 The October Field produces from the Cretaceous Nubia Formation, the Upper Cretaceous Nezzazat Formation, the Miocene Nukhul Formation, and the Miocene Asl Member of the Upper Rudeis Formation.[7]:236


  1. ^ Detailed geological information on the Gulf
  2. ^ "ISS EarthKAM: Images: Collections: Composite: Gulf of Suez, Egypt and Saudi Arabia". Archived from the original on 2003-10-27.
  3. ^ "USGS Open File Report OF99-50-A Red Sea Basin Province (Province Geology)".
  4. ^ "Madiq jubal". database of geographic coordinate information.
  5. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  6. ^ Lindquist, Sandra (1998). The Red Sea Province: Sudr-Nubia(!) and Maqna(!) Petroleum Systems, USGS Open File Report 99-50-A. US Dept. of the Interior. pp. 6, 8.
  7. ^ a b c Lelek, J.J., Shepherd, D.B., Stone, D.M., and Abdine, A.S., 1992, October Field, In Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade, 1978-1988, AAPG Memoir 54, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, ISBN 0891813330

External links

1969 Sharm El Sheikh earthquake

The 1969 Sharm El Sheikh earthquake occurred on March 31 off the southern Sinai peninsula in northeastern Egypt. The epicenter was located near Shadwan island, southwest of the city of Sharm El Sheikh, at the confluence of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez. This normal-slip shock measured 6.6 on the moment magnitude scale, had a maximum reported intensity of VII (Very strong) on the Mercalli intensity scale, and was responsible for several deaths and injuries.

Abu Rudeis Airport

Abu Rudeis Airport (IATA: AUE) is an airport serving Abu Rudeis, Egypt, a city in the Sinai Peninsula on the Gulf of Suez.

Ain Sokhna

Ain Sokhna (Arabic: العين السخنة‎ El ʿĒn El Sokhna Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [elˈʕeːn esˈsoxnæ], "the Hot Spring") is a town in the Suez Governorate, lying on the western shore of the Red Sea's Gulf of Suez. It is situated 55 kilometres (34 mi) south of Suez and approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) east of Cairo.

Arsinoe (Gulf of Suez)

Arsinoe (Greek: Ἀρσινόη) or Arsinoites or Cleopatris or Cleopatra, was an ancient city at the northern extremity of the Heroopolite Gulf (Gulf of Suez), in the Red Sea.

Battle of Marsa Talamat

The Battle of Marsa Talamat (Hebrew: קרב מרסה-תלמאת‎) was fought between the Israeli Navy and the Egyptian Navy commando forces on October 7, 1973, during the early stages of the Yom Kippur War. It took place in the small Egyptian naval anchorage of Marsa Talamat, in the central sector of the Gulf of Suez.

Two Israeli Dabur class patrol boats were on a routine patrol mission when the Egyptian Army launched a surprise attack into Israeli occupied Sinai. When it became evident that a war had started, the Israeli boats were reassigned to the mission of destroying Egyptian commando boats in order to interrupt Egyptian commando operations in the Gulf of Suez. The Israeli boats located two Egyptian commando boats which were about to depart Marsa Talamat. The Israeli boats attacked, and continued their attack even when both Daburs accidentally ran aground. The Israeli boats managed to retreat after inflicting considerable damage on the Egyptian commandos. For their actions in the battle, three Israeli crewmen were later awarded the Medal of Distinguished Service. The battle was amongst several significant naval battles which dictated the course of the naval war.


Etham (Hebrew: אֵתָם‎, meaning "solid, enduring") was the second place, after Succoth, at which the Israelites stopped during the Exodus. According to the Torah, Etham was on the edge of the wilderness (i.e. the edge of civilization or the edge of cultivated land) and marked the start of their Wilderness journey along a route which avoided entering the land of the Philistines, 'lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt'. It has been suggested that Etham is another name for Khetam (fortress), located on the great wall of Egypt, which extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf of Suez. It may be close to the modern town of Ismaïlia.

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.

General Service Medal (1962)

The General Service Medal (1962 GSM, also sometimes referred to as the Campaign Service Medal), is a campaign medal of the United Kingdom introduced in 1962 to combine the General Service Medal (1918), as awarded to the Army and RAF, and the Naval General Service Medal (1915). The 1962 GSM was awarded until 2007, when it was replaced by the Operational Service Medal. In 2015 the General Service Medal (2008) was introduced.The 1962 GSM was awarded for what were often arduous campaigns and well fought operations, evidenced by the casualties that were frequently sustained.

Geology of Egypt

The geology of Egypt includes rocks from Archaean - early Proterozoic times onwards. These oldest rocks are found as inliers in Egypt’s Western Desert. In contrast, the rocks of the Eastern Desert are largely late Proterozoic in age. Throughout the country this older basement is overlain by Palaeozoic sedimentary rocks. Cretaceous rocks occur commonly whilst sediments indicative of repeated marine transgression and regression are characteristic of the Cenozoic Era.

Gulf of Aqaba

The Gulf of Aqaba (Arabic: خليج العقبة‎, Khalij al-Aqabah) or Gulf of Eilat (Hebrew: מפרץ אילת, Mifrats Eilat) is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian mainland. Its coastline is divided between four countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Gulf of Suez Rift

The Gulf of Suez Rift is a continental rift zone that was active between the Late Oligocene (ca. 28 Ma) and the end of the Miocene (ca. 5 Ma). It represented a continuation of the Red Sea Rift until break-up occurred in the middle Miocene, with most of the displacement on the newly developed Red Sea spreading centre being accommodated by the Dead Sea Transform. During its brief post-rift history, the deepest part of the remnant rift topography has been filled by the sea, creating the Gulf of Suez.

North of the Gulf of Suez the rift becomes indistinct and its exact geometry uncertain, linking eventually to the Manzala rift beneath the Nile delta.

Heroopolite Gulf

In ancient times, the Heroopolite Gulf was the Gulf of Suez in the vicinity of Heroopolis; there is evidence indicating that the Red Sea and its Gulf of Suez extended as far northward as the Bitter Lakes of Egypt.Ptolemy II Philadelphus opened a west-east "Suez" canal in Heroopolis (c. 270-269 BC) and constructed a navigable lock, with sluices, between the Heroopolite Gulf and the Red Sea so as to allow the passage of vessels but prevent salt water from the Red Sea from mingling with the fresh water in the canal.Ancient cities which were at one time situated along the coastline of the Heroopolite Gulf include Arsinoe, Heroopolis and Olbia.

Ras Ghareb

Ras Gharib (Egyptian Arabic: راس غارب‎ Rās Ġāreb pronounced [ɾɑːs ˈɣæːɾeb]) is the northernmost of the markazes (municipalities) in the Red Sea Governorate, Egypt, situated on the African side of the Gulf of Suez. It has an area of 10,464.46 km². At the 2006 Egyptian national census, the population numbered 32,369.

It is and one of the leading centers of petroleum production in Egypt, having housed the main operations for first the Anglo-Egyptian Oil Company (a branch of Royal Dutch Shell) and then the Egyptian national petroleum company. For a time it was the capital of the Red Sea Governorate.

Red Sea

The Red Sea (also the Erythraean Sea, Arabic: البحر الأحمر‎) is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.

The Red Sea has a surface area of roughly 438,000 km2 (169,100 mi2), is about 2250 km (1398 mi) long and, at its widest point, 355 km (220.6 mi) wide. It has a maximum depth of 3,040 m (9,970 ft) in the central Suakin Trough, and an average depth of 490 m (1,608 ft). However, there are also extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals. The sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species, and 200 soft and hard corals. It is the world's northernmost tropical sea.

Red Sea Riviera

The Red Sea Riviera, Egypt's eastern coastline along the Red Sea, consists of resort cities on the western shore of the Gulf of Aqaba and along the eastern coast of mainland Egypt, south of the Gulf of Suez. The combination of a favorable climate, warm sea, thousands of kilometers of shoreline and abundant natural and archaeological points of interest makes this stretch of Egypt’s coastline a popular national and international tourist destination. There are numerous National Parks along the Red Sea Riviera, both underwater and on land. Desert and marine life are protected by a number of laws, and visitors may be subject to heavy fines for not abiding.


In geology, a rift is a linear zone where the lithosphere is being pulled apart and is an example of extensional tectonics.Typical rift features are a central linear downfaulted depression, called a graben, or more commonly a half-graben with normal faulting and rift-flank uplifts mainly on one side. Where rifts remain above sea level they form a rift valley, which may be filled by water forming a rift lake. The axis of the rift area may contain volcanic rocks, and active volcanism is a part of many, but not all active rift systems.

Major rifts occur along the central axis of most mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust and lithosphere is created along a divergent boundary between two tectonic plates.

Failed rifts are the result of continental rifting that failed to continue to the point of break-up. Typically the transition from rifting to spreading develops at a triple junction where three converging rifts meet over a hotspot. Two of these evolve to the point of seafloor spreading, while the third ultimately fails, becoming an aulacogen.

Shadwan Island

Shadwan (Egyptian Arabic: جزيرة شدوان‎) is a barren rocky island 30 miles southwest of the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula and 20 miles northeast of el Gouna. It is the largest of a group of islands in the mouth of the Gulf of Suez in the northern Red Sea and measures 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) in length, and between 3–5 kilometres (1.9–3.1 mi) wide. It was formerly also called Shaker Island and features a lighthouse. The island is famous as a touristic site for underwater diving and fishing.


Suez (Arabic: السويس‎ as-Suways ; Egyptian Arabic: es-Sewēs, el-Sewēs pronounced [esseˈweːs]) is a seaport city (population of about 750,000 as of August 2018) in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez (a branch of the Red Sea), near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as Suez governorate. It has three harbours, Adabya, Ain Sukhna and Port Tawfiq, and extensive port facilities. Together they form a metropolitan area.

Railway lines and highways connect the city with Cairo, Port Said, and Ismailia. Suez has a petrochemical plant, and its oil refineries have pipelines carrying the finished product to Cairo, in the flag of the governorate: the blue background refer to the sea, the gear refer to the fact that Suez an industrial governorate, and the flame refer to the petroleum firms in it.

Suez Governorate

Suez Governorate (Egyptian Arabic: محافظة السويس‎ Muḥāfẓet El Suweis) is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the north-eastern part of the country and is coterminous with the city of Suez. It is situated north of the Gulf of Suez.

Wildlife of Egypt

The wildlife of Egypt is composed of the flora and fauna of this country in northeastern Africa and southwestern Asia, and is substantial and varied. Apart from the fertile Nile Valley, which bisects the country from south to north, the majority of Egypt's landscape is desert, with a few scattered oases. It has long coastlines on the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea. Each geographic region has a diversity of plants and animals each adapted to its own particular habitat.

African seas
and seas
and bays
Arctic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Southern Ocean
Endorheic basins

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