Sediment Transport Patterns of Southern Sinai Coasts and their Role in the Holocene Development of Coral Reefs and Lagoons

Yaacov Nir

Abstract


The two Sinai gulfs, Eilat ('Aqaba) and Suez developed coral reefs during the Pleistocene with specific narrow, elongated and/or barrier characteristics. Besides these reefs, the gulfs are known to have typical lagoons, the origin of which is discussed herein. The prevailing northerly winds in the Gulf of Eilat and the north-northwesterly winds in the Gulf of Suez are the most important factors in the longshore sediment transport system. This regime, which has existed at least since the last post-Glacial sea level rise, affected the morphological features and later became the substrate for reef growth on the one hand and the development of lagoons and sabkhas (playas) on the other.


Keywords


Coral reefs; lagoons; main longshore trend; Holocene; Gulf of Eilat ('Aqaba); Gulf of Suez; Sinai; Egypt

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