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),[1][2] 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,[3] 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
Red sea jeddah
Red Sea topographic map-en
Coordinates22°N 38°E / 22°N 38°ECoordinates: 22°N 38°E / 22°N 38°E
Primary inflowsBarka River, Haddas River, Anseba River, Wadi Gasus
Primary outflowsBab el Mandeb
Max. length2,250 km (1,400 mi)
Max. width355 km (221 mi)
Surface area438,000 km2 (169,000 sq mi)
Average depth490 m (1,610 ft)
Max. depth3,040 m (9,970 ft)
Water volume233,000 km3 (56,000 cu mi)
This video over the south-eastern Mediterranean Sea and down the coastline of the Red Sea was taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on board the International Space Station.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Red Sea as follows:[4]

On the North. The Southern limits of the Gulfs of Suez [A line running from Ràs 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] and Aqaba [A line running from Ràs al Fasma Southwesterly to Requin Island (27°57′N 34°36′E / 27.950°N 34.600°E) through Tiran Island to the Southwest point thereof and thence Westward on a parallel (27°54'N) to the coast of the Sinai Peninsula].
On the South. A line joining Husn Murad (12°40′N 43°30′E / 12.667°N 43.500°E) and Ras Siyyan (12°29′N 43°20′E / 12.483°N 43.333°E).

Names

Tihama on the Red Sea near Khaukha, Yemen
Tihama on the Red Sea near Khaukha, Yemen

Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa (Ερυθρὰ Θάλασσα), Latin Mare Rubrum (alternatively Sinus Arabicus, literally "Arabian Gulf"), Arabic: البحر الأحمر‎, translit. Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar (alternatively بحر القلزم Baḥr Al-Qulzum, literally "the Sea of Clysma"), Somali Badda Cas and Tigrinya Qeyyiḥ bāḥrī (ቀይሕ ባሕሪ). The name of the sea may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-coloured Trichodesmium erythraeum near the water's surface.[5] A theory favoured by some modern scholars is that the name red is referring to the direction south, just as the Black Sea's name may refer to north. The basis of this theory is that some Asiatic languages used colour words to refer to the cardinal directions.[6] Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Sea and Southern Sea interchangeably.[7]

The name in Hebrew Yam Suph (Hebrew: ים סוף‎, lit. 'Sea of Reeds' is of biblical origin. The name in Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ `ⲛϩⲁϩ Phiom Enhah ("Sea of Hah") is connected to Egyptian root ḥḥ which refers to water and sea (for example the names of the Ogdoad gods Heh and Hauhet).[8]

Historically, it was also known to western geographers as Mare Mecca (Sea of Mecca), and Sinus Arabicus (Gulf of Arabia).[9] Some ancient geographers called the Red Sea the Arabian Gulf[10] or Gulf of Arabia.[11][12]

The association of the Red Sea with the biblical account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is ancient, and was made explicit in the Septuagint translation of the Book of Exodus from Hebrew to Koine Greek in approximately the third century B.C. In that version, the Yam Suph (Hebrew: ים סוף‎, lit. 'Sea of Reeds') is translated as Erythra Thalassa (Red Sea). The Red Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Black Sea, the White Sea and the Yellow Sea. The direct rendition of the Greek Erythra thalassa in Latin as Mare Erythraeum refers to the north-western part of the Indian Ocean, and also to a region on Mars.

History

Ancient era

C+B-Ship-Fig1-HatshepsuSailingBoat
Ancient Egyptian expedition to the Land of Punt on the Red Sea coast during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut

The earliest known exploration of the Red Sea was conducted by ancient Egyptians, as they attempted to establish commercial routes to Punt. One such expedition took place around 2500 BC, and another around 1500 BC (by Hatshepsut). Both involved long voyages down the Red Sea.[13] Historically, scholars argued whether these trips were possible.[14] The biblical Book of Exodus tells the account of the Israelites' crossing of a body of water, which the Hebrew text calls Yam Suph (Hebrew: יַם סוּף). Yam Suph was traditionally identified as the Red Sea. Rabbi Saadia Gaon (882‒942), in his Judeo-Arabic translation of the Pentateuch, identifies the crossing place of the Red Sea as Baḥar al-Qulzum, meaning the Gulf of Suez.[15]

Periplous of the Erythraean Sea
Settlements and commercial centers in the vicinity of the Red Sea involved in the spice trade, as described in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea

In the 6th century BC, Darius the Great of Persia sent reconnaissance missions to the Red Sea, improving and extending navigation by locating many hazardous rocks and currents. A canal was built between the Nile and the northern end of the Red Sea at Suez. In the late 4th century BC, Alexander the Great sent Greek naval expeditions down the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. Greek navigators continued to explore and compile data on the Red Sea. Agatharchides collected information about the sea in the 2nd century BC. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea ("Periplus of the Red Sea"), a Greek periplus written by an unknown author around the 1st century AD, contains a detailed description of the Red Sea's ports and sea routes.[16] The Periplus also describes how Hippalus first discovered the direct route from the Red Sea to India.

The Red Sea was favored for Roman trade with India starting with the reign of Augustus, when the Roman Empire gained control over the Mediterranean, Egypt, and the northern Red Sea. The route had been used by previous states but grew in the volume of traffic under the Romans. From Indian ports goods from China were introduced to the Roman world. Contact between Rome and China depended on the Red Sea, but the route was broken by the Aksumite Empire around the 3rd century AD.[17]

Middle Ages and modern era

During the Middle Ages, the Red Sea was an important part of the spice trade route. In 1513, trying to secure that channel to Portugal, Afonso de Albuquerque laid siege to Aden[18] but was forced to retreat. They cruised the Red Sea inside the Bab al-Mandab, as the first European fleet to have sailed these waters.

In 1798, France ordered General Napoleon to invade Egypt and take control of the Red Sea. Although he failed in his mission, the engineer Jean-Baptiste Lepère, who took part in it, revitalised the plan for a canal which had been envisaged during the reign of the Pharaohs. Several canals were built in ancient times from the Nile to the Red Sea along or near the line of the present Sweet Water Canal, but none lasted for long. The Suez Canal was opened in November 1869. At the time, the British, French, and Italians shared the trading posts but these were gradually dismantled following the First World War. After the Second World War, the Americans and Soviets exerted their influence whilst the volume of oil tanker traffic intensified. However, the Six-Day War culminated in the closure of the Suez Canal from 1967 to 1975. Today, in spite of patrols by the major maritime fleets in the waters of the Red Sea, the Suez Canal has never recovered its supremacy over the Cape route, which is believed to be less vulnerable to piracy.

Oceanography

ISS036-E-011050
Annotated view of the Nile and Red Sea, with a dust storm[19]

The Red Sea is between arid land, desert and semi-desert. Reef systems are better developed along the Red Sea mainly because of its greater depths and an efficient water circulation pattern. The Red Sea water mass-exchanges its water with the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Aden. These physical factors reduce the effect of high salinity caused by evaporation in the north and relatively hot water in the south.

The climate of the Red Sea is the result of two monsoon seasons; a northeasterly monsoon and a southwesterly monsoon. Monsoon winds occur because of differential heating between the land and the sea. Very high surface temperatures and high salinities make this one of the warmest and saltiest bodies of seawater in the world. The average surface water temperature of the Red Sea during the summer is about 26 °C (79 °F) in the north and 30 °C (86 °F) in the south, with only about 2 °C (3.6 °F) variation during the winter months. The overall average water temperature is 22 °C (72 °F). Temperature and visibility remain good to around 200 m (656 ft). The sea is known for its strong winds and unpredictable local currents.

The rainfall over the Red Sea and its coasts is extremely low, averaging 0.06 m (2.36 in) per year. The rain is mostly short showers, often with thunderstorms and occasionally with dust storms. The scarcity of rainfall and no major source of fresh water to the Red Sea result in excess evaporation as high as 205 cm (81 in) per year and high salinity with minimal seasonal variation. A recent underwater expedition to the Red Sea offshore from Sudan and Eritrea[20] found surface water temperatures 28 °C (82 °F) in winter and up to 34 °C (93 °F) in the summer, but despite that extreme heat the coral was healthy with much fish life with very little sign of coral bleaching, with only 9% infected by Thalassomonas loyana, the 'white plague' agent. Favia favus coral there harbours a virus, BA3, which kills T. loyana.[21] Plans are afoot to use samples of these corals' apparently heat-adapted commensal algae to salvage bleached coral elsewhere.

Salinity

The Red Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, owing to high evaporation. Salinity ranges from between ~36  in the southern part because of the effect of the Gulf of Aden water and 41 ‰ in the northern part, owing mainly to the Gulf of Suez water and the high evaporation. The average salinity is 40 ‰. (Average salinity for the world's seawater is ~35 ‰ on the Practical Salinity Scale, or PSU; that translates to 3.5% of actual dissolved salts.)

The salinity of the Red Sea is greater than the world average, by approximately 5‰. This is due to several factors:

  1. High rate of evaporation and very little precipitation.
  2. Lack of significant rivers or streams draining into the sea.
  3. Limited connection with the Indian Ocean, which has lower water salinity.

Tidal range

In general tide ranges between 0.6 m (2.0 ft) in the north, near the mouth of the Gulf of Suez and 0.9 m (3.0 ft) in the south near the Gulf of Aden but it fluctuates between 0.20 m (0.66 ft) and 0.30 m (0.98 ft) away from the nodal point. The central Red Sea (Jeddah area) is therefore almost tideless, and as such the annual water level changes are more significant. Because of the small tidal range the water during high tide inundates the coastal sabkhas as a thin sheet of water up to a few hundred metres rather than flooding the sabkhas through a network of channels. However, south of Jeddah in the Shoiaba area the water from the lagoon may cover the adjoining sabkhas as far as 3 km (2 mi), whereas, north of Jeddah in the Al-Kharrar area the sabkhas are covered by a thin sheet of water as far as 2 km (1.2 mi). The prevailing north and northeast winds influence the movement of water in the coastal inlets to the adjacent sabkhas, especially during storms. Winter mean sea level is 0.5 m (1.6 ft) higher than in summer. Tidal velocities passing through constrictions caused by reefs, sand bars and low islands commonly exceed 1–2 m/s (3–6.5 ft/s). Coral reefs in the Red Sea are near Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan.

Current

Detailed information regarding current data is lacking, partially because the currents are weak and both spatially and temporally variable. The variation of temporal and spatial currents is as low as 0.5 m (1.6 ft) and are governed all by wind. During the summer, NW winds drive surface water south for about four months at a velocity of 15–20 cm/s (6–8 in/s), whereas in winter the flow is reversed resulting in the inflow of water from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea. The net value of the latter predominates, resulting in an overall drift to the north end of the Red Sea. Generally, the velocity of the tidal current is between 50–60 cm/s (20–23.6 in/s) with a maximum of 1 m/s (3.3 ft/s) at the mouth of the al-Kharrar Lagoon. However, the range of the north-northeast current along the Saudi coast is 8–29 cm/s (3–11.4 in/s).

Wind regime

The north part of the Red Sea is dominated by persistent north-west winds, with speeds ranging between 7 km/h (4.3 mph) and 12 km/h (7.5 mph). The rest of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are subjected to regular and seasonally reversible winds. The wind regime is characterized by seasonal and regional variations in speed and direction with average speed generally increasing northward.

Wind is the driving force in the Red Sea to transport material as suspension or as bedload. Wind-induced currents play an important role in the Red Sea in resuspending bottom sediments and transferring materials from sites of dumping to sites of burial in quiescent environment of deposition. Wind-generated current measurement is therefore important in order to determine the sediment dispersal pattern and its role in the erosion and accretion of the coastal rock exposure and the submerged coral beds.

Geology

Dust red sea
Dust storm over the Red Sea

The Red Sea was formed by the Arabian peninsula being split from the Horn of Africa by movement of the Red Sea Rift. This split started in the Eocene and accelerated during the Oligocene. The sea is still widening (in 2005, following a three-week period of tectonic activity it had grown by 8m),[22] and it is considered that it will become an ocean in time (as proposed in the model of John Tuzo Wilson). In 1949, a deep water survey reported anomalously hot brines in the central portion of the Red Sea. Later work in the 1960s confirmed the presence of hot, 60 °C (140 °F), saline brines and associated metalliferous muds. The hot solutions were emanating from an active subseafloor rift. Lake Asal in Djibouti is eligible as an experimental site to study the evolution of the deep hot brines of the Red Sea.[23] Indeed, by observing the strontium isotope composition of the Red Sea brines, it is easy to deduce how these salt waters found at the bottom of the Red Sea could have evolved in a similar way to Lake Asal, which ideally represents their compositional extreme.[23] The high salinity of the waters was not hospitable to living organisms.[24]

Sometime during the Tertiary period, the Bab el Mandeb closed and the Red Sea evaporated to an empty hot dry salt-floored sink. Effects causing this would have been:

A number of volcanic islands rise from the center of the sea. Most are dormant. However, in 2007, Jabal al-Tair island in the Bab el Mandeb strait erupted violently. Two new islands were formed in 2011 and 2013 in the Zubair Archipelago, a small chain of islands owned by Yemen. The first island, Sholan Island, emerged in an eruption in December 2011, the second island, Jadid, emerged in September 2013.[25][26][27]

Oilfields

The Durwara 2 Field was discovered in 1963, while the Suakin 1 Field and the Bashayer 1A Field were discovered in 1976, on the Egyptian side of the Red Sea. The Barqan Field was discovered in 1969, and the Midyan Field in 1992, both within the Midyan Basin on the Saudi Arabian side of the Red Sea. The 20 m thick Middle Miocene Maqna Formation is an oil source rock in the basin. Oil seeps occur near the Farasan Islands, the Dahlak Archipelago, along the coast of Eritrea, and in the southeastern Red Sea along the coasts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.[28]

Mineral resources

Red sea stony beach taba egypt
Red Sea coast in Taba, Egypt

In terms of mineral resources the major constituents of the Red Sea sediments are as follows:

  • Biogenic constituents:
Nanofossils, foraminifera, pteropods, siliceous fossils
  • Volcanogenic constituents:
Tuffites, volcanic ash, montmorillonite, cristobalite, zeolites
  • Terrigenous constituents:
Quartz, feldspars, rock fragments, mica, heavy minerals, clay minerals
  • Authigenic minerals:
Sulfide minerals, aragonite, Mg-calcite, protodolomite, dolomite, quartz, chalcedony.
  • Evaporite minerals:
Magnesite, gypsum, anhydrite, halite, polyhalite
  • Brine precipitate:
Fe-montmorillonite, goethite, hematite, siderite, rhodochrosite, pyrite, sphalerite, anhydrite.

Ecosystem

Nudibranch egg ribbon at Shaab Mahmoud
Nudibranch egg ribbon at Shaab Mahmoud

The Red Sea is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1200 species of fish[29] have been recorded in the Red Sea, and around 10% of these are found nowhere else.[30] This also includes 42 species of deepwater fish.[29]

Red sea coral reef
Red Sea coral and marine fish

The rich diversity is in part due to the 2,000 km (1,240 mi) of coral reef extending along its coastline; these fringing reefs are 5000–7000 years old and are largely formed of stony acropora and porites corals. The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders (such as the Blue Hole (Red Sea) at Dahab). These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of Red Sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark.

It contains 175 species of nudibranch, many of which are only found in the Red Sea.[31]

The Red Sea also contains many offshore reefs including several true atolls. Many of the unusual offshore reef formations defy classic (i.e., Darwinian) coral reef classification schemes, and are generally attributed to the high levels of tectonic activity that characterize the area.

The special biodiversity of the area is recognized by the Egyptian government, who set up the Ras Mohammed National Park in 1983. The rules and regulations governing this area protect local marine life, which has become a major draw for diving enthusiasts.

Divers and snorkellers should be aware that although most Red Sea species are innocuous, a few are hazardous to humans: see Red Sea species hazardous to humans.[32]

Other marine habitats include sea grass beds, salt pans, mangroves and salt marshes.

Desalination plants

There is extensive demand for desalinated water to meet the needs of the population and the industries along the Red Sea.

There are at least 18 desalination plants along the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia which discharge warm brine and treatment chemicals (chlorine and anti-scalants) that bleach and kill corals and cause diseases in the fish. This is only localized, but it may intensify with time and profoundly impact the fishing industry.[33]

The water from the Red Sea is also used by oil refineries and cement factories for cooling. Used water drained back into the coastal zones may harm the nearshore environment of the Red Sea.

Security

The Red Sea is part of the sea roads between Europe, the Persian Gulf and East Asia, and as such has heavy shipping traffic. Government-related bodies with responsibility to police the Red Sea area include the Port Said Port Authority, Suez Canal Authority and Red Sea Ports Authority of Egypt, Jordan Maritime Authority, Israel Port Authority, Saudi Ports Authority and Sea Ports Corporation of Sudan.

Facts and figures

  • Length: ~2,250 km (1,398.1 mi) - 79% of the eastern Red Sea with numerous coastal inlets
  • Maximum Width: ~ 306–355 km (190–220 mi)– Massawa (Eritrea)
  • Minimum Width: ~ 26–29 km (16–18 mi)- Bab el Mandeb Strait (Yemen)
  • Average Width: ~ 280 km (174.0 mi)
  • Average Depth: ~ 490 m (1,607.6 ft)
  • Maximum Depth: ~ 3,040 m (9,970 ft)
  • Surface Area: 438-450 x 102 km2 (16,900–17,400 sq mi)
  • Volume: 215–251 x 103 km3 (51,600–60,200 cu mi)
  • Approximately 40% of the Red Sea is quite shallow (under 100 m/330 ft), and about 25% is under 50 m (164 ft) deep.
  • About 15% of the Red Sea is over 1,000 m (3,300 ft) depth that forms the deep axial trough.
  • Shelf breaks are marked by coral reefs
  • Continental slope has an irregular profile (series of steps down to ~500 m or 1,640 ft)
  • Centre of Red Sea has a narrow trough (Suakin Trough) (~ 1,000 m or 3,281 ft; with maximum depth 3,040 m or 9,974 ft)

Tourism

Elath Eilat Israel Strand Hotel datafox
Hotels in Eilat, Israel

The sea is known for its recreational diving sites, such as Ras Mohammed, SS Thistlegorm (shipwreck), Elphinstone Reef, The Brothers, Daedalus Reef, St.John's Reef, Rocky Island in Egypt[34] and less known sites in Sudan such as Sanganeb, Abington, Angarosh and Shaab Rumi.

The Red Sea became a popular destination for diving after the expeditions of Hans Hass in the 1950s, and later by Jacques-Yves Cousteau.[35] Popular tourist resorts include El Gouna, Hurghada, Safaga, Marsa Alam, on the west shore of the Red Sea, and Sharm-el-Sheikh, Dahab, and Taba on the Egyptian side of Sinaï, as well as Aqaba in Jordan and Eilat in Israel in an area known as the Red Sea Riviera.

The popular tourist beach of Sharm el-Sheikh was closed to all swimming in December 2010 due to several serious shark attacks, including a fatality. As of December 2010, scientists are investigating the attacks and have identified, but not verified, several possible causes including over-fishing which causes large sharks to hunt closer to shore, tourist boat operators who chum offshore for shark-photo opportunities, and reports of ships throwing dead livestock overboard. The sea's narrowness, significant depth, and sharp drop-offs, all combine to form a geography where large deep-water sharks can roam in hundreds of meters of water, yet be within a hundred meters of swimming areas.

Tourism to the region has been threatened by occasional terrorist attacks, and by incidents related to food safety standards.[36][37]

Bordering countries

The Red Sea may be geographically divided into three sections: the Red Sea proper, and in the north, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez. The six countries bordering the Red Sea proper are:

The Gulf of Suez is entirely bordered by Egypt. The Gulf of Aqaba borders Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

In addition to the standard geographical definition of the six countries bordering the Red Sea cited above, areas such as Somalia are sometimes also described as Red Sea territories. This is primarily due to their proximity to and geological similarities with the nations facing the Red Sea and/or political ties with said areas.[38][39]

Towns and cities

Towns and cities on the Red Sea coast (including the coasts of the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez) include:

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Red Sea". Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Red Sea" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  3. ^ Robert Dinwiddie: Ocean_ The World's Last Wilderness Revealed. Dorling Kindersley, London 2008, p. 452
  4. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Red Sea". Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  6. ^ "How the Red Sea Got its Name".
  7. ^ Schmitt 1996
  8. ^ Vycichl, Werner (1983). Dictionnaire Etymologique de La Langue Copte. Leuven: Peeters. p. 320.
  9. ^ "Arabia". World Digital Library. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  10. ^ Michael D. Oblath (2004). The Exodus itinerary sites: their locations from the perspective of the biblical sources. Peter Lang. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8204-6716-0.
  11. ^ Herodotus, ed. George Rawlinson (2009), The histories, p.105
  12. ^ Andrew E. Hill, John H. Walton (2000), A survey of the Old Testament, p.32 [1]
  13. ^ Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe (2006). Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration. W.W. Norton & Company. p. 24. ISBN 0-393-06259-7.
  14. ^ Louis, Jaucourt de chevalier (1765). Red Sea. pp. 367–368.
  15. ^ Tafsir, Saadia Gaon, s.v. Exodus 15:22, et al.
  16. ^ Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe (2006). Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-393-06259-7.
  17. ^ East, W. Gordon (1965). The Geography behind History. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 174–175. ISBN 0-393-00419-8.
  18. ^ By M. D. D. Newitt, A History of Portuguese Overseas Expansion, 1400–1668, p.87, Routledge, 2005, ISBN 0-415-23979-6
  19. ^ "Egyptian Dust Plume, Red Sea". earthobservatory.nasa.gov. 8 July 2013.
  20. ^ BBC 2 television program "Oceans 3/8 The Red Sea", 8 pm - 9 pm Wednesday 26 November 2008
  21. ^ 'Virus protects coral from 'white plague',' at New Scientist, 7 July 2012.p.17.
  22. ^ Rose, Paul; Laking, Anne (2008). Oceans: Exploring the hidden depths of the underwater world. London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-1-84-607505-6.
  23. ^ a b Boschetti, Tiziano; Awaleh, Mohamed Osman; Barbieri, Maurizio (2018). "Waters from the Djiboutian Afar: a review of strontium isotopic composition and a comparison with Ethiopian waters and Red Sea brines". Water. 10. doi:10.3390/w10111700.
  24. ^ Degens, Egon T. (ed.), 1969, Hot Brines and Recent Heavy Metal Deposits in the Red Sea, 600 pp, Springer-Verlag
  25. ^ "MSN - Outlook, Office, Skype, Bing, Breaking News, and Latest Videos". www.msnbc.msn.com.
  26. ^ Israel, Brett (December 28, 2011). "New Island Rises in the Red Sea". LiveScience.com. Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  27. ^ Oskin, Becky; SPACE.com (May 30, 2015). "Red Sea Parts for 2 New Islands". Scientific American. Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  28. ^ 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. 6–7, 9.
  29. ^ a b Froese, Ranier; Pauly, Daniel (2009). "FishBase". Retrieved 2009-03-12.
  30. ^ Siliotti, A. (2002). Verona, Geodia (ed.). Fishes of the red sea. ISBN 88-87177-42-2.
  31. ^ Yonow, Nathalie (2012). "Nature's Best-Dressed". Saudi Aramco World. Vol. 63 no. 4. Aramco Services Company. pp. 2–9. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  32. ^ Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. (2004) Coral reef guide; Red Sea London, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-715986-2
  33. ^ Mabrook, B. "Environmental Impact of Waste Brine Disposal of Desalination Plants, Red Sea, Egypt", Desalination, 1994, Vol.97, pp.453-465.
  34. ^ "Scuba Diving in Egypt - Red Sea - Dive The World Vacations". www.dive-the-world.com.
  35. ^ Philippe Cousteau Jnr (23 April 2010). Jacques Cousteau's underworld village in the Red Sea. BBC Earth. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  36. ^ Walsh, Declan; Karasz, Palko (24 August 2018). "Hundreds of Tourists Evacuated From Hotel in Egypt After Britons' Sudden Death". New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  37. ^ Regev, Dana (15 July 2017). "Egypt's tourism industry suffers a critical blow". DW. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  38. ^ Barth, Hans-Jörg (2002). Sabkha ecosystems, Volume 2. Springer. p. 148. ISBN 1-4020-0504-0.
  39. ^ Makinda, Samuel M. (1987). Superpower diplomacy in the Horn of Africa. Routledge. p. 37. ISBN 0-7099-4662-7.

Further reading

  • Hamblin, W. Kenneth & Christiansen, Eric H. (1998). Earth's Dynamic Systems (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-745373-6.
  • Miran, Jonathan. (2018). "The Red Sea," in David Armitage, Alison Bashford and Sujit Sivasundaram (eds.), Oceanic Histories (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 156–181.

External links

2017 Hurghada attack

On 14 July 2017 Abdel-Rahman Shaaban, a former university student from the Nile Delta region, swam from a public beach to each of two resort hotel beaches at Hurghada on the Red Sea and stabbed five German, one Armenian and one Czech tourists, all women, killing two German women. The Czech tourist died on July 27. The perpetrator shouted that the Egyptian hotel personnel who gave pursuit after the stabbings at the second beach should "Stay back, I am not after Egyptians". Nevertheless, hotel personnel pursued and captured the attacker.

Arabian Peninsula

The Arabian peninsula, simplified Arabia (; Arabic: شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة‎ shibhu l-jazīrati l-ʿarabiyyah, 'Arabian island' or جَزِيرَةُ الْعَرَب jazīratu l-ʿarab, 'Island of the Arabs'), is a peninsula of Western Asia situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian plate. From a geographical perspective, it is considered a subcontinent of Asia.It is the largest peninsula in the world, at 3,237,500 km2 (1,250,000 sq mi). The peninsula consists of the countries Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The peninsula formed as a result of the rifting of the Red Sea between 56 and 23 million years ago, and is bordered by the Red Sea to the west and southwest, the Persian Gulf to the northeast, the Levant to the north and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. The peninsula plays a critical geopolitical role in the Arab world due to its vast reserves of oil and natural gas.

Before the modern era, it was divided into four distinct regions: Hejaz (Tihamah), Najd (Al-Yamama), Southern Arabia (Hadhramaut) and Eastern Arabia. Hejaz and Najd make up most of Saudi Arabia. Southern Arabia consists of Yemen and some parts of Saudi Arabia (Najran, Jizan, Asir) and Oman (Dhofar). Eastern Arabia consists of the entire coastal strip of the Persian Gulf.

Crossing the Red Sea

The Crossing of the Red Sea (Hebrew: קריעת ים סוף Kriat Yam Suph – Crossing of the Red Sea or Sea of Reeds) is part of the biblical narrative of the Exodus, the escape of the Israelites, led by Moses, from the pursuing Egyptians in the Book of Exodus. Moses holds out his staff and the Red Sea is parted by God. The Israelites walk on the dry ground and cross the sea, followed by the Egyptian army. Once the Israelites have safely crossed Moses lifts his arms again, the sea closes, and the Egyptians are drowned.

Dahlak Archipelago

The Dahlak Archipelago (Arabic: أرخبيل دهلك‎, Ge'ez: ዳህላክ) is an island group located in the Red Sea near Massawa, Eritrea. It consists of two large and 124 small islands. The pearl fisheries of the archipelago have been famous since Roman times and still produce a substantial number of pearls.

Eastern Desert

The Eastern Desert is the part of the Sahara desert that is located east of the Nile river, between the river and the Red Sea. It extends from Egypt in the north to Eritrea in the south, and also comprises parts of Sudan and Ethiopia. The Eastern Desert is also known as the Red Sea Hills and the Arabian Desert because to the east it is bordered by the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula, respectively.

Eritrea

Eritrea (; (listen)); Arabic: إريتريا as- Ērītrēa) State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast. The northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of approximately 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi), and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands. Its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea (Ἐρυθρὰ Θάλασσα Erythra Thalassa), which was first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890.

Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around 5 million. Most residents speak languages from the Afroasiatic family, either of the Ethiopian Semitic languages or Cushitic branches. Among these communities, the Tigrinyas make up about 55% of the population, with the Tigre people constituting around 30% of inhabitants. In addition, there are a number of Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic minorities. Most people in the territory adhere to Christianity or Islam.The Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, was established during the first or second centuries AD. It adopted Christianity around the middle of the fourth century. In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the Medri Bahri kingdom, with a smaller region being part of Hamasien.

The creation of modern-day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent, distinct kingdoms and sultanates (for example, Medri Bahri and the Sultanate of Aussa) eventually resulting in the formation of Italian Eritrea. After the defeat of the Italian colonial army in 1942, Eritrea was administered by the British Military Administration until 1952. Following the UN General Assembly decision, in 1952, Eritrea would govern itself with a local Eritrean parliament but for foreign affairs and defense it would enter into a federal status with Ethiopia for a period of 10 years. However, in 1962 the government of Ethiopia annulled the Eritrean parliament and formally annexed Eritrea. But the Eritreans that argued for complete Eritrean independence since the ouster of the Italians in 1941, anticipated what was coming and in 1960 organized the Eritrean Liberation Front in opposition. In 1991, after 30 years of continuous armed struggle for independence, the Eritrean liberation fighters entered the capital city, Asmara, in victory.

Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have never been held since independence. According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government's human rights record is among the worst in the world. The Eritrean government has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated. The compulsory military service requires long, indefinite conscription periods, which some Eritreans leave the country to avoid. Because all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was also ranked as having the second-least press freedom in the global Press Freedom Index, behind only North Korea.

The sovereign state of Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and is an observer in the Arab League alongside Brazil, Venezuela, India and Turkey.

Eritrea national football team

The Eritrea national football team (Tigrinya: ጋንታ ኩዕሶ እግሪ አርትራ) is the national association football team of Eritrea and controlled by the Eritrean National Football Federation (ENFF). It is nicknamed the Red-Sea Camels. It has neither qualified for the finals of the FIFA World Cup nor the Africa Cup of Nations. Local side Red Sea FC are the main supplier for the national team.

Gulf of Aden

The Gulf of Aden, formerly known as the Gulf of Berbera, is a gulf amidst Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea and Guardafui Channel to the east, Somalia to the south, and Djibouti to the west. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, and in the southeast, it connects with the Indian Ocean through the Guardafui Channel.The waterway is part of the important Suez Canal shipping route between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Sea in the Indian Ocean, with 21,000 ships crossing the gulf annually.

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

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. 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. The entrance of the gulf lies atop the mature Gemsa oil and gas field.

Hurghada

Hurghada (; Arabic: الغردقة‎ al-Ġurdaqa, Egyptian Arabic: الغردقة‎ El Ġardaʾa Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [el ɣæɾˈdæʔæ]) is a city in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt. It is one of the country's main tourist centres located on the Red Sea coast.

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi) (approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface). It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.

Jeddah

Jeddah (sometimes spelled Jiddah or Jedda; English: ; Arabic: جدة‎ Jidda, Hejazi pronunciation: [ˈd͡ʒɪd.da]) is a city in the Tihamah region of the Hejaz on the coast of the Red Sea and is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Makkah Province, the largest seaport on the Red Sea, and with a population of about four million people (as of 2017), the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. Jeddah is Saudi Arabia's commercial capital.Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca and Medina, two of the holiest cities in Islam and popular tourist attractions.

Economically, Jeddah is focusing on further developing capital investment in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. Jeddah was independently ranked fourth in the Africa – Mid-East region in terms of innovation in 2009 in the Innovation Cities Index.Jeddah is one of Saudi Arabia's primary resort cities and was named a Beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC). Given the city's close proximity to the Red Sea, fishing and seafood dominates the food culture unlike other parts of the country. In Arabic, the city's motto is "Jeddah Ghair," which translates to "Jeddah is different." The motto has been widely used among both locals as well as foreign visitors. The city had been previously perceived as the "most open" city in Saudi Arabia.

Massawa

Massawa (Tigrinya: ምጽዋዕ; Arabic: مصوع‎) is a city on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea located at the northern end of the Gulf of Zula beside the Dahlak Archipelago. As a historical and important port for many centuries, it was ruled by a succession of polities, including the Axumite Empire, Medri Bahri Kingdom, the Umayyad Caliphate, various Beja sultanates, the Ottoman Empire, the Khedivate of Egypt, Italy, Britain, and Ethiopia, until Eritrea's independence in 1991. Massawa was the capital of the Italian Colony of Eritrea until it was moved to Asmara in 1897.

Port Sudan

Port Sudan (Arabic: بور سودان‎ Būr Sūdān) is a port city in eastern Sudan, and the capital of the state of Red Sea. As of 2007, it has 489,725 residents. Located on the Red Sea, it is the Republic of Sudan's main port city.

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.

Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh (Egyptian Arabic: شرم الشيخ‎, IPA: [ˈʃɑɾm eʃˈʃeːx]) is an Egyptian city on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. Its population is approximately 73,000 as of 2015. Sharm El Sheikh is the administrative hub of Egypt's South Sinai Governorate, which includes the smaller coastal towns of Dahab and Nuweiba as well as the mountainous interior, St. Catherine and Mount Sinai. The city and holiday resort is a significant centre for tourism in Egypt, while also attracting many international conferences and diplomatic meetings.

Suez

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 Canal

The Suez Canal (Arabic: قناة السويس‎ qanāt as-suwēs) is a sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. Constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, it was officially opened on 17 November 1869. The canal offers watercraft a more direct route between the North Atlantic and northern Indian Oceans via the Mediterranean and Red Seas, thus avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian Oceans and thereby reducing the journey distance from the Arabian Sea to, for example, London by approximately 8,900 kilometres (5,500 mi). It extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez. Its length is 193.30 km (120.11 mi), including its northern and southern access channels. In 2012, 17,225 vessels traversed the canal (an average of 47 per day).The original canal was a single-lane waterway with passing locations in the Ballah Bypass and the Great Bitter Lake. It contains no locks system, with seawater flowing freely through it. In general, the canal north of the Bitter Lakes flows north in winter and south in summer. South of the lakes, the current changes with the tide at Suez.The Canal was owned by the United Kingdom and France until 1956 when Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized it, an event which lead to the Suez Crisis. The canal is owned and maintained by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt. Under the Convention of Constantinople, it may be used "in time of war as in time of peace, by every vessel of commerce or of war, without distinction of flag".In August 2014, construction was launched to expand and widen the Ballah Bypass for 35 km (22 mi) to speed the canal's transit time. The expansion was planned to double the capacity of the Suez Canal from 49 to 97 ships a day. At a cost of $8.4 billion, this project was funded with interest-bearing investment certificates issued exclusively to Egyptian entities and individuals. The "New Suez Canal", as the expansion was dubbed, was opened with great fanfare in a ceremony on 6 August 2015.On 24 February 2016, the Suez Canal Authority officially opened the new side channel. This side channel, located at the northern side of the east extension of the Suez Canal, serves the East Terminal for berthing and unberthing vessels from the terminal. As the East Container Terminal is located on the Canal itself, before the construction of the new side channel it was not possible to berth or unberth vessels at the terminal while the convoy was running.

African seas
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