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  1. › wiki › Red_SeaRed Sea - Wikipedia

    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 ...

    • History
    • Oceanography
    • Geology
    • Living Resources
    • Mineral Resources
    • Desalination Plants
    • Some of The Research Cruises in The Red Sea
    • Tourism
    • References

    The earliest known exploration expeditions of the Red Sea were conducted by Ancient Egyptians seeking to establish commercial routes to Punt. One such expedition took place around 2500 B.C.E. and another around 1500 B.C.E.Both involved long voyages down the Red Sea. The Biblical book of Exodus tells the story of the Israelites' miraculous crossing of a body of water, which the Hebrew text calls Yam Suph,traditionally identified as the Red Sea. The account is part of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt, and is told in Exodus 13:17—15:21. In the sixth century B.C.E., Darius I 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 fourth century B.C.E., 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 Se...

    The Red Sea lies between arid land, desert, and semi-desert. The main reasons for the better development of reef systems along the Red Sea is because of its greater depths and an efficient water circulation pattern. The Red Sea water mass exchanges its water with the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Aden. These physical factors reduce the effect of high salinity caused by evaporation and cold water in the north and relatively hot water in the south. Climate: The climate of the Red Sea is the result of two distinct monsoon seasons; a northeasterly monsoon and a southwesterly monsoon. Monsoon winds occur because of the differential heating between the land surface and sea. Very high surface temperatures coupled with high salinities makes this one of the hottest 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)...

    The Red Sea formed when Arabia split from Africa due to plate tectonics. This split started in the Eocene and accelerated during the Oligocene. The sea is still widening and it is considered that the sea will become an ocean in time (as proposed in the model of John Tuzo Wilson). Sometime during the Tertiaryperiod, the Bab el Mandeb closed and the Red Sea evaporated to an empty hot dry salt-floored sink. Effects causing this would be: 1. A "race" between the Red Sea widening and Perim Island erupting filling the Bab el Mandeb with lava. 2. The lowering of world sea level during the Ice Agesdue to much water being locked up in the ice caps. Today, surface water temperatures remain relatively constant at 21–25 °C (70–77 °F) and temperature and visibility remain good to around 660 feet (200 m), but the sea is known for its strong winds and tricky local currents. In terms of salinity, the Red Sea is greater than the world average, approximately 4 percent. This is due to several factors:...

    The Red Sea is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1,100 species of fish have been recorded in the Red Sea, with approximately 10 percent of these being endemic to the Red Sea.This also includes around 75 species of deepwater 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 at Dahab). These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of red sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark. 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 wildlife, which has become a major attraction for tourists, in particular for divingenthusiasts. D...

    In terms of mineral resources the major constituents of the Red Sea sediments are as follows: 1. Biogenic constituents: 1. Nannofossils, foraminifera, pteropods, siliceous fossils 1. Volcanogenic constituents: 1. Tuffites, volcanic ash, montmorillonite, cristobalite, zeolites 1. Terrigenous constituents: 1. Quartz, feldspars, rock fragments, mica, heavy minerals, clay minerals 1. Authigenic minerals: 1. Sulfide minerals, aragonite, Mg-calcite, protodolomite, dolomite, quartz, chalcedony 1. Evaporite minerals: 1. Magnesite, gypsum, anhydrite, halite, polyhalite 1. Brine precipitate: 1. Fe-montmorillonite, goethite, hematite, siderite, rhodochrosite, pyrite, sphalerite, anhydrite

    There is extensive demand of desalinated water to meet the requirement 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 may cause bleaching and mortality of corals and diseases to the fishstocks. Although this is only a localized phenomenon, it may intensify with time and have a profound impact on the fishing industry. The water from the Red Sea is also utilized by oil refineries and cementfactories for cooling purposes. Used water drained back into the coastal zones may cause harm to the nearshore environment of the Red Sea.

    Numerous research cruises have been conducted: 1. 1.1. Arabia Felix (1761-1767) 1.2. Vitiaz (1886-1889) 1.3. Valdivia (1898-1894) 1.4. Pola (1897-98) Southern Red Sea and (1895/96—Northern Red Sea 1.5. Ammiraglio Magnaghi (1923/24) 1.6. Snellius (1929–1930) 1.7. Mabahiss (1933-1934 and 1934-1935) 1.8. Albatross (1948) 1.9. Manihine (1849 and 1952) 1.10. Calypso (1955) 1.11. Atlantis and Vema (1958) 1.12. Xarifa (1961) 1.13. Meteor (1961) 1.14. Glomar Challenger (1971) 1.15. Sonne (1997) 1.16. Meteor (1999)

    The sea is known for its spectacular dive sites such as Ras Mohammed, SS ''Thistlegorm'' (shipwreck), Elphinstone, The Brothers and Rocky Island in Egypt, Dolphin Reef in Eilat, Israel and less known sites in Sudansuch as Sanganeb, Abington, Angarosh and Shaab Rumi. The Red Sea became known a sought-after diving destination after the expeditions of Hans Hass in the 1950s, and later by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Popular tourist resorts include Sharm-El-Sheikh and Hurghada (and recently Marsa Alam) and Dahab in Egypt, as well as Eilat, Israel, in an area known as the Red Sea Riviera.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia. Red SeaRetrieved June 4, 2008.
    Cousteau, Jacques Yves. 1971. Life and Death in a Coral Sea. The Undersea Discoveries of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
    Farid, Abdel Majid. 1984. The Red Sea: Prospects for Stability. London: Croom Helm in association with the Arab Research Centre. ISBN 978-0709905431.
    Hamblin, W. Kenneth, and Eric H. Christiansen. Earth's Dynamic Systems, 8th edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1998. ISBN 0137453736.
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  3. › seas › red-seaRed Sea - WorldAtlas

    • Where Is The Red Sea?
    • Origin of The Name
    • The Climate of The Red Sea
    • Islands in The Red Sea
    • Marine Life and Protected Areas
    • Brief History
    • Human Settlements Along The Red Sea
    • Economy

    The Red Sea is a semi-enclosed, inlet (or extension) of the Indian Ocean between the continents of Africa from Asia. It is connected to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean to the south through the Gulf of Aden and the narrow strait of Bab el Mandeb. The northern portion of the Red Sea is bifurcated by the Sinai Peninsula into the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez, where it is connected to the Mediterranean Sea via the famous Suez Canal. A total of 6 countries of Asia and Africa, border the Red Sea. The countries of Yemen and Saudi Arabia border the Red Sea to the east. The Red Sea is bordered by Egypt to the north and west, and by Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti to the west. The Gulf of Aqaba is bordered by Egypt along with Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Besides these 6 countries, some other areas including Somalia are also often recognized as Red Sea Territories, due to their proximity to the sea and the geographical similarities with the countries that border the Red Sea.

    There are several theories regarding the origin of the name of the Red Sea. One popular theory gives credit to the seasonal blooms of a red-colored cyanobacteria alga -Trichodesmium erythraeumwhich gives the sea a reddish-brown color. The name ‘Red Sea’ is a direct translation of its Greek name – Erythra Thalassa. The Europeans also once referred to it as the Erythraean Sea. Some of the modern scholars believe that certain Asiatic languages used color words to denote the cardinal directions, where the word red refers to the south direction of the compass, just as the Black Sea’s name alludes to the north direction. An ancient reference to the Red Sea also comes from the Biblical account of the Israelites miraculously crossing the Red Sea. The Septuagint translation of the Book of Exodus from Hebrew to Koine Greek translates the ‘Yam Suph’ as ‘Erythra Thalassa’ (Red Sea).

    The climate of the Red Sea is influenced by two monsoon seasons namely the northeasterly monsoon and the southwesterly monsoon. During summer, the average surface temperature of the Red Sea is about 26°C on the northern side and about 30°C on the southern side. During the winter months, the temperature decreases slightly by about 2°C. There is extremely low rainfall averaging 0.06m annually in this area, and desert dust storms occasionally sweep across the sea. Owing to the high surface water temperatures, the Red Sea is one of the world’s warmest seas. The high heat together with the lack of precipitation facilitates high levels of evaporation, leading to the high salinity of the Red Sea. It has been estimated that the salinity of the sea ranges from 36% on its southern side to about 41% on its northern side.

    There are more than a thousand volcanic islands in the Red Sea. The two largest island groups are located in the southern part, while the Farasan Islands lie in the east and the Dahlak Archipelago with more than 350 islands lie in the western part of the Red Sea. Some well-known islands include Tiran Island, which is located near the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Shadwan Island, which is located at the entrance of the Gulf of Suez. Situated in the northern part of the Red Sea, the Al Wajh Bank is known for its unique biodiversity. Several of the Red Sea Islands including Kamaran, Perim, Hanish, and Socotra are controlled by Yemen.

    The rich ecosystem of the Red Sea supports a high biological diversity that also has a high proportion of endemic species. The extensive network of shallow shelves of the Red Sea plays host to at least 1,000 species of invertebrates, 200 hard and soft corals, and more than 1,200 fish species. It has been estimated that about 14.7% of the Red Sea fishes are endemic species, which makes the Red Sea – one of the topmost areas for high fish endemism in the world. Researchers have found that about 90% of the fishes are Red Sea dottybacks – which belong to the Pseudochromidae family and the triple fins fish – which belong to the Tripterygiidae family. More than 50% of the Red Sea butterflyfishes belonging to the Chaetodontidae family are endemic species. In addition to this, about 175 nudibranchs and 44 shark species are also found in the Red Sea. The shallow water depths and efficient water circulation patterns contribute to the thriving coral reefs of the Red Sea. These reefs are recogn...

    The first known exploration expeditions of the Red Sea area were first conducted by the ancient Egyptians around 2,500 BC and 1500 BC. The Septuagint translation of the Biblical Book of Exodus revealed a story of the Israelites' miraculous escape by crossing the ‘Yam Suph’ (Red Sea). Darius I of Persia in the 6th century BCE, had made the Red Sea a part of his navigation project, to improve and extend navigation by locating several hazardous rocks and currents. From the northern end of the Red Sea and the River Nile, a canal was built at Suez. Alexander the Great in the late 4thcentury B.C., had sent naval expeditions through the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean. As mentioned in the book titled, “Periplus of the Erythrean Sea”, it was Hippalus – a Greek navigator, who first found a direct route to India via the Red Sea. The Red Sea eventually became the favorite route of Romans for carrying out trade with India. During the Middle Ages, the Red Sea was used for the spice trade. The Suez C...

    The Red Sea shares its marine waters with countries like Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti. About 150 million people reside in these countries. The coastline also contains some of the highest population centers including Jeddah, Port Sudan, and the rapidly developing cities of Massawa, Eliat, Aqaba, and Al Hodeidah. However, many of these countries suffer from violence, instability, corruption, and tyranny. The country of Egypt has about 1,500km long coastline along the Red Sea and is also famous for recreational activities that attract many tourists to enjoy diving at different sites like Ras Mohammed, Daedalus Reef, Elphinstone Reef, St. John’s Reef, The Brothers, and Rocky Island. Some famous resorts in the area include the Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Safaga, El Gouna, Dahab, and Taba.

    The Red Sea forms a critical artery for the world’s economy. The coral reefs of the Red Sea provide food and support the livelihood of over 28 million people that reside along the coasts. Annual revenue of about US$230 million is earned from fisheries alone while about US$12 billion comes from tourism. The unique coral reefs of the Red Sea also serve as rich sources of medicine and natural products. Some major types of mineral resources that are found here include gypsum, dolomite, halite, phosphates, and sulfur. Numerous commercial endeavors and industrial developments are also carried out by nations that are located along the Red Sea for the exploration of oil and natural gas deposits.

    • Diptarka Ghosh
    • 2,250 km
    • Fact
    • 355 km
  4. Red Sea, narrow strip of water extending southeastward from Suez, Egypt, for about 1,200 miles (1,930 km) to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects with the Gulf of Aden and thence with the Arabian Sea. Geologically, the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba (Elat) must be considered as the northern extension

    • Gateway to The Red Sea
    • Detectives and Pirates
    • A Plague of Locusts
    • Mountain-Gap Wind Jets
    • Blasts of Dry Air
    • Connecting The Oceans

    In the Red Sea, the water evaporates at one of the highest rates in the world. Like a bathtub in a steam room, you would have to add water from the tap to keep its water level stable. The Red Sea compensates for the large water volume it loses each year through evaporation by importing water from the Gulf of Aden—through the narrow Strait of Bab Al Mandeb between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti and Eritrea on the Horn of Africa. The Strait of Bab Al Mandeb works as a gate. All waters in and out of the sea must pass through it. No other gates exist, making the Red Sea what is known as a semi-enclosed marginal sea. In winter, incoming surface waters from the Gulf of Aden flow in a typical western boundary current, hugging the western side of the Red Sea along the coasts of Eritrea and Sudan. The current transports the waters northward. But in the central part of the Red Sea, this current veers sharply to the right. When it reaches the eastern side, it continues its convolu...

    To unravel the complex tapestry that makes the Red Sea Eastern Boundary Current, I am like a CSI (Crime Scene Investigator) agent, sifting through as much data as I can get and putting them together to solve a mystery. But it’s hard to obtain data from the Red Sea. Its narrow confines mean that its waters are restricted by countries around it that are often in conflict. It’s hard for researchers to get permission to enter them. In addition, many waters in and enroute to the Red Sea have been beset by piracy. In the spring of 2018, I was aboard of the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brownin the Arabian Sea. It was the first time in more than a decade that the U.S. Navy allowed an American research vessel to go to the Arabian Sea. We were allowed to go only on the eastern side, and we couldn’t go anywhere beyond 17.5° N, because it wasn’t safe. On board, we conducted many safety drills, learning how to hide from pirates. The Red Sea is also hard for satellites. Its width is small compared with th...

    In the Red Sea, evaporation is a critical factor driving how the sea operates, and to determine how much water evaporates, we need to know about the winds. Why? Because evaporation rates depend on the winds. If the winds are stronger, the evaporation is stronger; if the winds are weaker, evaporation is weaker. To complicate the situation a bit more, evaporation depends not only on the strength of the winds but where the winds are coming from. If the winds are coming over the sea, the air humidity in the winds will be higher, and evaporation will be lower; if the winds are coming from the desert, the air will be dry, and evaporation will be higher. So, to unravel the Eastern Boundary Current, we needed to have a pretty good picture of how the winds blow in winter. When I started my postdoctoral research, I was really surprised to see that this important factor—the wind variability of the Red Sea—wasn’t well-known, even though interest on it goes way back! Pioneering studies about win...

    The mountains along Red Sea coasts affect the winds in another way. The mountains aren’t entirely compact; there are several gaps in them. The tunnel surrounding the Red Sea has a few holes in both sides. Sometimes the winds blow through one of these holes and cross the tunnel. These are the mountain-gap wind jets. The mountain-gap winds in summer blow from Africa to Saudi Arabia through the Tokar Gap near the Sudanese coast. In winter, the mountain-gap winds blow in the opposite direction, from Saudi Arabia to Africa, through many nameless gaps in the northern part of the Red Sea. These jets stir up frequent sandstorms carrying sand and dirt from surrounding deserts into the Red Sea. The sandstorms carry fertilizing nutrients that promote life in the Red Sea. The sands also block incoming sunlight and cool the sea surface. But do these overlooked jets also affect the Red Sea in other ways?

    We decided to put together lots of different data to find out the fundamental characteristics of these mountain-gap jet events. Our data came from satellites and from a heavily instrumented mooring that measured winds and humidity in the air and temperatures and salinity in the sea below. WHOI maintained the mooring for two-years in the Red Sea when it collaborated with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. The satellite images revealed that these events weren’t rare. We learned that in most winters, there are typically two to three events in December and January in which the winds blow west across the northern part of the Red Sea. In satellite images, they are impressive and beautiful. The mountain-gap events typically last three to eight days. We observed large year-to-year differences, with an increasing number of events in the last decade. ­We discovered that the wintertime mountain-gap wind events blast the Red Sea with dry air. They are like the cold-air outbreak...

    We are still looking for answers about how the Eastern Boundary Current forms and why it flows north. But we have learned much about the wind-jet events that cause it to disappear periodically in winter. The large-scale evaporation from these wind-jet events may also drive waters in the northern Red Sea to become cooler, saltier, and dense enough to sink the depths and flow all the way south and back out of the Strait of Bab Al Mandeb. These salty Red Sea waters escape to the Gulf Aden, where they start a long journey through the Indian Ocean. They cross the Equator. Some may travel into the Atlantic Ocean. Some may flow toward Western Australia. How can these Red Sea waters travel so far away? I’m diving into that mystery now. This research was funded by National Science Foundation. The mooring data collected during the WHOI-KAUST collaboration was made possible by the KAUST in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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