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Red Sea
Coordinates 22°00′N 38°00′E / 22°N 38°E / 22; 38Coordinates: 22°00′N 38°00′E / 22°N 38°E / 22; 38
Max. length 2,250 km (1,400 mi)
Max. width 355 km (221 mi)
Surface area 438,000 km2 (169,000 sq mi)
Average depth 490 m (1,610 ft)
Max. depth 2,211 m (7,254 ft)
Water volume 233,000 km3 (56,000 cu mi)

The Red Sea 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. In the north, there is 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 water is not red, as the name may imply.

Occupying a part of the Great Rift Valley, the Red Sea has a surface area of roughly 438,000 km² (169,100 square miles ).[1][2] It is about 2250 km (1398 miles) long and, at its widest point, is 355 km (220.6 miles) wide. It has a maximum depth of 2211 metres (7254 feet) in the central median trench, and an average depth of 490 metres (1,608 feet). 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.

Contents

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Red Sea as follows:[3]

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 / 27.95°N 34.6°E / 27.95; 34.6) through Tiran Island to the Southwest point thereof and thence Westward on a parallel (27°54'N) to the coast of the Sinaï Peninsula].

On the South. A line joining Husn Murad (12°40′N 43°30′E / 12.667°N 43.5°E / 12.667; 43.5) and Ras Siyan (12°29′N 43°20′E / 12.483°N 43.333°E / 12.483; 43.333).

Name

Tihama on the Red Sea near Khaukha, Yemen

Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa (Ερυθρὰ Θάλασσα), Latin Mare Rubrum (but also Sinus Arabicus, i.e., the Arabian Gulf), Arabic Al-Baḥr Al-Aḥmar (البحر الأحمر), 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.[4]

Another hypothesis is that the name comes from the Himyarite, a local group whose own name means red.[citation needed]

A theory favored 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 color words to refer to the cardinal directions[5]. Herodotus on one occasion uses Red Sea and Southern Sea interchangeably.[6]

It is theorized that it was named so because it borders the Egyptian Desert, which the ancient Egyptians called the Dashret or "red land"; therefore it would have been the sea of the red land.[citation needed]

The association of the Red Sea with the Biblical account of the Israelite Crossing of 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 Hebrew Yam Suph (ים סוף) is translated as Erythra Thalassa (Red Sea). (See also the more recent suggestion that the Yam Suph of the Exodus refers to a Sea of Reeds).

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

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. Both involved long voyages down the Red Sea.[7]

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. Yam Suph is traditionally identified as the Red Sea. The account is part of the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. Yam Suph can also been translated as Sea of Reeds, which draws doubts upon the claim that the Crossing of the Red Sea actually occurred on the Red 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, written sometime around the 1st century AD, contain a detailed description of the Red Sea's ports and sea routes.[8] 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.[9]

During the Middle Ages, the Red Sea was an important part of the Spice trade route.

In 1798, France ordered General Bonaparte to invade Egypt and take control of the Red Sea. Although he failed in his mission, the engineer J.B. Lepere, 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 Sweetwater 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. The posts 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.

Oceanography

Bathymetric map of the Red Sea

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, Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Aden. These physical factors reduce the effect of high salinity caused by evaporation water in the north and relatively hot water in the south.

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) variation during the winter months. The overall average water temperature is 22 °C (72 °F). 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 in the form of showers of short spells often associated with thunderstorms and occasionally with dust storms. The scarcity of rainfall and no major source of fresh water to the Red Sea result in the 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[10] found surface water temperatures 28°C in winter and up to 34°C in the summer, but despite that extreme heat the coral was healthy with much fish life with very little sign of coral bleaching, and there were plans to use samples of these corals' apparently heat-adapted commensal algae to salvage bleached coral elsewhere.

Salinity

The Red Sea is one of the most saline bodies of water in the world, due to high evaporation. Salinity ranges from between ~36 (ppt) in the southern part due to the effect of the Gulf of Aden water and reaches 41 (ppt) in the northern part, due mainly to the Gulf of Suez water and the high evaporation. The average salinity is 40 (ppt).

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 inundating 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 northeastern 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, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Sudan.

Current

In the Red Sea detailed current data is lacking, partially because they are weak and variable both spatially and temporally. Temporal and spatial currents variation is as low as 0.5 m (1.6 ft) and are governed all by wind. In 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 northern 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). at the mouth of the al-Kharrar Lagoon. However, the range of north-northeast current along the Saudi coast is 8–29 cm/s (3–11.4 in/s).

Wind regime

With the exception of the northern part of the Red Sea, which 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 the influence of regular and seasonally reversible winds. The wind regime is characterized by both seasonal and regional variations in speed and direction with average speed generally increasing northward.

Wind is the driving force in the Red Sea for transporting the material either as suspension or as bedload. Wind induced currents play an important role in the Red Sea in initiating the process of resuspension of bottom sediments and transfer of 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 storm over the Red Sea

The Red Sea was formed by Arabia splitting from Africa due to movement of the Red Sea Rift. 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).

Sometimes 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 be:

Today surface water temperatures remain relatively constant at 21–25 °C (70–77 °F) and temperature and visibility remain good to around 200 m (656 ft), but the sea is known for its strong winds and unpredictable local currents.

In terms of salinity, the Red Sea is greater than the world average, approximately 4 percent. 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.

A number of volcanic islands rise from the center of the sea. Most are dormant, but in 2007 Jabal al-Tair island erupted violently.

Living resources

Red Sea coral and marine fish

The Red Sea is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1200 species of fish[11] have been recorded in the Red Sea, and around 10% of these are found nowhere else.[12] This also includes 42 species of deepwater fish.[11] 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.

The special biodiversity of the area is recognised 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 draw for tourists, in particular 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.[13]

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

Mineral resources

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.

Desalination plants

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 fish stocks. 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 cement factories for cooling purposes. Used water drained back into the coastal zones may cause harm to 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. Piracy in Somalia occurs principally near the area of the Gulf of Aden south of the sea. 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: ~2,211 m (7,253.9 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/1,640 ft)
  • Centre of Red Sea has a narrow trough (~ 1,000 m/3,281 ft; some deeps may exceed 2,500 m/8,202 ft)

Tourism

The sea is known for its spectacular recreational diving sites, such as Ras Mohammed, SS Thistlegorm (shipwreck), Elphinstone, The Brothers, Dolphin Reef and Rocky Island in Egypt and less known sites in Sudan such as Sanganeb, Abington, Angarosh and Shaab Rumi (see photo above).

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 El Gouna, Hurghada, Safaga, Marsa Alam, on the western 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.

Tourism in the South of Red Sea is presently considered risky because of the presence of pirates originating from uncontrolled zones of Somalia. Large vessels such as cargoes are sometimes attacked by high-speed boats heavily armed. The situation is even worse in the Gulf of Aden between Somalia and Yemen.

Bordering countries

Bordering countries are:

Towns and cities

Towns and cities on the Red Sea coast include:

See also

References

  1. ^ ""The Red Sea"". http://geography.howstuffworks.com/oceans-and-seas/the-red-sea.htm. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  2. ^ ""Red Sea"" (PDF). http://www.emecs.or.jp/guidebook/eng/pdf/16redsea.pdf. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition". International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. http://www.iho-ohi.net/iho_pubs/standard/S-23/S23_1953.pdf. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Red Sea". Encyclopædia Britannica Online Library Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.library.eb.com/eb/article-9106296. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  5. ^ "Cardinal colors in Chinese tradition". http://www.colorsystem.com/projekte/engl/63chie.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  6. ^ Schmitt 1996
  7. ^ Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe (2006). Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 24. ISBN 0-393-06259-7. 
  8. ^ Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe (2006). Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 32–33. ISBN 0-393-06259-7. 
  9. ^ East, W. Gordon (1965). The Geography behind History. W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 174–175. ISBN 0-393-00419-8. 
  10. ^ BBC 2 television program "Oceans 3/8 The Red Sea", 8 pm - 9 pm Wednesday 26 November 2008
  11. ^ a b Froese, Ranier; Pauly, Daniel (2009). "FishBase". http://www.fishbase.org/TrophicEco/FishEcoList.php?ve_code=5. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  12. ^ Siliotti, A. (2002). Verona, Geodia. ed. Fishes of the red sea. ISBN 88-87177-42-2. 
  13. ^ Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. (2004) Coral reef guide; Red Sea London, HarperCollins ISBN 0-00-715986-2

Further reading

  • Hamblin, W. Kenneth & Christiansen, Eric H. (1998), Earth's Dynamic Systems (8th ed.), Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0137453736 .

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Red Sea Coast article)

From Wikitravel

Africa : North Africa : Egypt : Red Sea Coast

The Red Sea Coast is a region of eastern Egypt, following the shoreline of the Red Sea for 800 km (500 miles) from Suez in the north to the Sudanese border in the south. It is Egypt's fastest developing area for overseas travelers and is best known for its warm climate year-round, for its clear azure waters, for its beach resorts and - given the presence of many species of exotic fish and coral - for its value as a diving destination.

Note that Egypt's Sinai peninsula also borders the Red Sea, but is considered a separate region.

  • Badawia Resort Marsa Alam, (+2010) 250 55 60, [1]. Badawia Resort serene beauty and quiet escape is mesmerizing. Situated on 150.000 square meters of gardens and lagoon between the famous Red Sea chain of mountains and the magnificent Red Sea. Includes pools, beach, and simplicity of its decor. It is located 210 km south of Hurghada International Airport or 19km south of Marsa Alam International Airport.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

RED SEA, a narrow strip of water extending S.S.E. from Suez to the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb in a nearly straight line, and separating the coasts of Arabia from those of Egypt, Nubia and Abyssinia. Its total length is about 1200 m., and its breadth varies from about 250 m. in the southern half to 130 m. in 27° 45' N., where it divides into two parts, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Akaba, separated from each other by the peninsula of Sinai.

The Gulf of Suez is shallow, and slopes regularly down to the northern extremity of the Red Sea basin, which has a. maximum depth of 640 fathoms, and then over a shoal of 60 fathoms goes down to 1200 fathoms in 22° 7' N. The Gulf of Akaba is separated from the Red Sea by a submarine bank only 70 fathoms from the surface, and in 28° 39' N. and 34° 43' E. it attains the depth of 700 fathoms. South of the 1200fathom depression a ridge rises to 500 fathoms in the latitude of Jidda, and south of this again a similar depression goes down to 1190 fathoms. Throughout this northern part, i.e. to the banks of Suakin and Farsan in 20° N., the loo-fathom line keeps to a belt of coral reef close inshore, but in lower latitudes the shallow coral region, 300 m. long and 70 to 80 m. across, extends farther and farther seaward, until in the latitude of Hodeda the deep channel (marked by the loo-fathom line) is only 20 m. broad, all the rest of the area being dangerous to navigation, even for small vessels. In the middle of the gradually narrowing channel three depressions are known to exist; soundings in two of these are: i 1 io fathoms in zo° N. and 890 fathoms in 16° N., a little to the north of Massawa. To the north-west of the volcanic island of Zebayir the depth is less than 500 fathoms; the bottom of the channel rises to the ioofathom line at Hanish Island (also volcanic), then shoals to 45 fathoms, and sinks again in about the latitude of Mokha in a narrow channel which curves westward round the island of Perim (depth 170 fathoms), to lose itself in the Indian Ocean. This western channel is 16 m. wide in the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb; the eastern channel of the strait is 2 m. broad and 16 fathoms deep.

Murray estimates the total area at 158,750 sq. m., and its volume at 67,700 cub. m., giving a mean depth of 375 fathoms. Karstens gives the area at 448,810 sq. kilometres (130,424 sq. geographical m.) and the volume at 206,901 cub. kilometres (32,413 cub. geographical which gives a mean depth of 252 fathoms. depth. Both these computations, however, were made before the date of the Austrian exploring expeditions (1896-98). Bludau's measurements give the total area draining to the Red Sea at about 255,000 sq. geographical m. Kriimmel's more recent calculations (see Ocean) give values somewhat higher than those of Karstens.

The Red Sea is formed by a line of fracture, probably dating from Pliocene times, crossing the centre of a dome of Archean rocks, on both flanks of which, in Egypt and Arabia., rest Secondary and Tertiary deposits. The granite rocks forming the core of the dome appear at the surface on the Red Sea coast, at the western end of the transverse line of heights crossing Nejd. Along the line of fracture traces of volcanic activity are frequent; a group of volcanic islands occurs in 14° N., and on Jebel Teir, farther north, a volcano has only recently become extinct. The margin of the Red Sea itself consists, on the Arabian side, of a strip of low plain backed by ranges of barren hills of coral and sand formation, and here and there by mountains of considerable height. The greater elevations are for the most part formed of limestones, except in the south, where they are largely volcanic. The coasts of the Gulf of Akaba are steep, with numerous coral reefs on both sides. On the African side there are in the north wide stretches of desert plain, which towards the south rise to elevated tablelands, and ultimately to the mountains of Abyssinia. The shores of the Red Sea are little indented; good harbours are almost wanting in the desert regions of the north, while in the south the chief inlets are at Massawa, and at Kamaran, almost directly opposite. Coral formations are abundant; immense reefs, both barrier and fringing, skirt both coasts, often enclosing wide channels between the reef and the land. The reefs on the eastern side are the more extensive; they occur in places as much as 25 m. from the land. It has long been known that the whole Red Sea area is undergoing gradual elevation, and much has been done in recent years in investigating the levels of raised beaches found in different localities., In the northern part, down to almost 19° N., the prevailing winds are north and north-west. The middle region, to 14°-16° N., has variable winds in an area of low barometric pres- sure, while in the southern Red Sea south-east and east winds prevail. From June to August the north west wind blows over the entire area; in September it retreats again as far as 16° N., south of which the winds are for a time variable. In the Gulf of Suez the westerly, or "Egyptian," wind occurs frequently during winter, sometimes blowing with violence, and generally accompanied by fog and clouds of dust. Strong north-north-east winds prevail in the Gulf of Akaba during the greater part of the year; they are weakest in April and May, sometimes giving place at that season to southerly breezes. The high temperature and great relative humidity make the summer climate of the Red Sea one of the most disagreeable in the world.

The mean annual temperature of the surface waters near the head is 77° F.; it rises to 80° in about 22° N., to 84° in 16° N., and drops again to 82° at the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb. T Daily variations of temperature are observable to a depth of over 50 fathoms. Temperature is, on the whole, higher near the Arabian than the Egyptian side, but it everywhere diminishes with increase of depth and latitude, down to 380 fathoms from the surface; below this depth a uniform constant temperature of 70.7° F. is observed throughout. In the Gulf of Suez temperature is relatively low, falling rapidly from south to north. The waters of the Gulf of Akaba are warmer towards the Arabian than the Sinai coasts; a uniform temperature of 70.2° is observed at all depths below 270 fathoms.

The salinity of the waters is relatively great, the highest recorded being 42.7 per mille (Gulf of Suez), and the lowest 36.2 (Perim harbour). The distribution is, speaking Salinity. generally, the opposite to that of temperature; salinity increases from the surface downwards, and from the south northwards, and it is greater towards the western than the eastern side. This statement holds good for the Gulf of Suez, in which the water is much salter than in the open;sea; but in the Gulf of Akaba the distribution is exceedingly uniform, nowhere differing much from an average of 40.6 per mille.

The movements of the waters are of great irregularity and complexity, rendering navigation difficult and dangerous. Two features stand out with special distinctness: the ex- Circula- change of water between the Red Sea and the Indian tion. Ocean, and the tidal streams of the Gulf of Suez. From the observations of salinity it is inferred that a surface current flows inwards to the Red Sea in the eastern channel of the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, while a current of very salt water flows outward to the Indian Ocean, through the western channel, at a depth of 50 to loo fathoms from the surface. In the Gulfs of Suez and Akaba, almost the only part of the Red Sea in which tidal phenomena are well developed, a sharply defined tidal circulation is found. Elsewhere the surface movements at least are controlled by the prevailing winds, which give rise in places to complex "transverse" currents, and near the coast are modified by the channels enclosed by the coral reefs. During the prevalence of the north and north-west winds the surface level of the northern part of the Red Sea is depressed by as much as 2 ft. The great evaporation going on from the surface probably causes a slow vertical circulation in the depth, the salter colder waters sinking, and ultimately escaping to the Indian Ocean. Extensive collections of the deposits forming the bed were made by the expeditions of the Austrian ship "Pola" (1896 and 1898). These were analysed by Dr K. Natterer, whose conclusions, however, have been disputed by a number of other investigators. The zoological collections of the "Pola" expeditions show that certain well-defined districts are extremely rich in plankton, while others are correspondingly poor; and it appears that the latter occur in districts surrounded by currents of relatively low temperature, while the richer parts are where the movements of water are blocked by irregularities in the coast-line.

Authorities. - A. Issel, Morfologia e genesi del Mar Rosso. Saggio di Paleogeografia, Congresso Geogr. Ital. (Florence, 18 99); "Die Korallenriffe der Sinai-Halbinsel," Abhandl. Math.-phys. Gesell. Wiss., vol. xiv. (Leipzig, 1888); Meteorological Charts of the Red Sea (Meteorological Office, 1895); Report of the Voyage of the Russian Corvette "Vitiaz" (1889); "Berichte der Commission fiir oceanographische Forschungen," 6th series, 1898 in vol. LXV. of the Denkschriften der K.K. Akademie der Wissenschaften (Vienna); also various notes and preliminary reports in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy of Sciences; Report of the Voyage of H.M.S. "Challenger," " Oceanic Circulation," p. 30; J. Hann, Klimatologie (1897), vol. iii. p. 76. (H. N. D:)


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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English

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Red Sea

  1. A long, narrow sea between Africa and the Arabian peninsula; links the Suez Canal with the Arabian Sea.

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

The sea so called extends along the west coast of Arabia for about 1,400 miles, and separates Asia from Africa. It is connected with the Indian Ocean, of which it is an arm, by the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. At a point (Ras Mohammed) about 200 miles from its nothern extremity it is divided into two arms, that on the east called the AElanitic Gulf, now the Bahr el-'Akabah, about 100 miles long by 15 broad, and that on the west the Gulf of Suez, about 150 miles long by about 20 broad. This branch is now connected with the Mediterranean by the Suez Canal. Between these two arms lies the Sinaitic Peninsula.

The Hebrew name generally given to this sea is Yam Suph. This word suph means a woolly kind of sea-weed, which the sea casts up in great abundance on its shores. In these passages, Ex 10:19; 13:18; 15:4, 22; 23:31; Num 14:25, etc., the Hebrew name is always translated "Red Sea," which was the name given to it by the Greeks. The origin of this name (Red Sea) is uncertain. Some think it is derived from the red colour of the mountains on the western shore; others from the red coral found in the sea, or the red appearance sometimes given to the water by certain zoophytes floating in it. In the New Testament (Acts 7:36; Heb 11:29) this name is given to the Gulf of Suez.

This sea was also called by the Hebrews Yam-mitstraim, i.e., "the Egyptian sea" (Isa 11:15), and simply Ha-yam, "the sea" (Ex 14:2, 9, 16, 21, 28; Josh 24:6, 7; Isa 10:26, etc.).

The great historical event connected with the Red Sea is the passage of the children of Israel, and the overthrow of the Egyptians, to which there is frequent reference in Scripture (Ex. 14, 15; Num 33:8; Deut 11:4; Josh 2:10; Jdg 11:16; 2 Sam 22:16; Neh 9:9-11; Ps 666; Isa 10:26; Acts 7:36, etc.).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

File:Red Sea 37.95521E 21.
Red Sea between Africa and Arabian peninsula

[[File:|thumb|rigt|250px|Coral reef near Marsa Alam, Egypt]]

The Red Sea is a sea between Arabian peninsula of Asia in the northeast and Africa in the southwest. It is a part of the Indian Ocean. The Red Sea is about 2200 km long, but its width is less than 330 km. Many ships go through the Red Sea, because the Suez Channel connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb at the opposite end is a gate to the Indian Ocean. Ports of the Red Sea are, for example, Suez, Port Sudan, Massawa, Yanbu al-Bahr, Jeddah, Aqaba and Eilat.

The water of Red Sea has more salt and is clearer than water of most other seas because almost no rivers run into it. The weather is dry and warm around the Red Sea and for this reason many people from Europe and other parts of the world come for their holiday to the Red Sea. Some of them are divers, who swim under the sea level, to see rich coral reefs and fish. Holiday places, for example, are Sharm el-Sheikh, Eilat or Hurghada. The countries next to the Red Sea are Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.

It plays an important role in the book of Exodus.bjn:Laut Habang








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