Coastal Erosion Along the Egyptian Delta

Scot E. Smith, Adel Abdel-Kader

Abstract


Since construction of the Aswan High Dam in 1964, there has been concern that the Egyptian coastline along the Medlterranean Sea would suffer from increased erosion. The dam effectively stopped the supply of sediment carried by the River Nile to the Mediterranean and so left the coastline without a shore building capability. Through analysis of satellite images, the morphometry of the coastline along the Egyptian Medlterranean has been studied. Landsat Images acquired in 1973, 1978 and 1984 were compared wIth topographic maps from the 1930's and other historical references to the shoreline. Although coastal erosion is a serious problem along the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast, it is localized at specific areas. These areas have undergone slow to moderate erosion since the turn of this century as a result of natural decrease of the River Nile flow and as a result of increased number of structures across the Nile. In a post High Dam phase, these areas eroded at accelerated rates (3-5 times the rates before the Dam). However, a major part of the coastline seems to have survived and has not changed radically since construction of the High Dam.


Keywords


Control structures; Egyptian delta; hydrology; Mediterranean Sea; satellite mapping; sea level change; subsidence

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