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EN
The levels of persistent organic pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were determined in seawater and marine sediments from different sites along the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. Concentrations of 7 PCBs, namely, PCB-28, PCB-52, PCB-101, PCB-118, PCB-138, PCB-153, and PCB-180, were determined. An automated Soxhlet (Soxtec) extraction method was used for extraction with hexane–acetone as a solvent, and a pre-washed multilayer silica gel column was used for the clean-up step. Samples were analyzed using capillary gas chromatography (GC) with an electron capture detector (ECD) and GC–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) for confirmation. The method's limits of detection (LOD) were determined to be from 0.40 to 1.53 ng/L and from 0.39 to 0.91 ng/g dry weight for seawater and sediment, respectively. Concentrations of PCBs in seawater and sediment samples from all sites were below the LOD. This study provides evidence that very low concentrations of PCBs (<2 ng/g) were found in the water and sediments of the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. PCB concentrations measured in this study can be considered as a baseline for future monitoring and control of PCBs as requested by the Stockholm Convention.
EN
The levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from industrial by-products were determined in beach sand and marine sediments from different sites along the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. Seventeen polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-furans (PCDD/Fs) compounds were identified. Automatic Soxhlet (Soxtec) extraction method was used for PCDD/Fs extractions using toluene as a solvent. Pre-washed multilayer silica gel column was used for cleanup step. Samples were analyzed using high-resolution gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy detector (HRGC–MS). Low levels of POPs were found in all sand and sediment samples. Concentrations of PCDD/Fs ranged between 3.91 and 8.91 ng kg−1 dw with an average of 6.49 ng kg−1 dw for beach sand samples and between 6.560 and 45.95 ng kg−1 dw with an average of 28.70 ng kg−1 dw for marine sediment samples. Concentrations of PCDD/Fs for soil and sediment were mostly less than other sites worldwide. PCDD/Fs concentrations measured in this study can be considered as a baseline for future monitoring and control of PCDD/Fs as requested by Stockholm Convention.
EN
This paper analyses Holocene beachrocks from the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Aqaba to explain the mechanisms that influence the cementation process in these areas. Holocene beachrocks in the Gulf of Aqaba are composed of predominantly terrigenous material derived from erosion of adjacent uplifted Precambrian basement, while the beachrocks in the Arabian Gulf are composed mainly of marine bioclasts and wind-blown siliciclastic sands. The cements of beachrocks in both areas show three textural varieties: (1) isopachous phreatic acicular aragonite; (2) a micritic envelope of high-Mg calcite (HMC); (3) meniscus and gravitational vadose HMC. Radiocarbon dating of beachrock samples from the Arabian Gulf yielded ages from ca. 2300 to 660 yr cal BP whereas samples from the Gulf of Aqaba range in age between 5500 and 2800 yr cal BP. Oxygen isotope values range from 2.6 to 4.4‰ respectively for the Arabian Gulf whereas the Gulf of Aqaba values range from 1.2 to 1.5‰. Carbon isotope values range from 3.2 to 5.9‰ for the Arabian Gulf whereas those from the Gulf of Aqaba range from 3.8 to 4.6‰. The values of δ18OVPDB and δ13CVPDB in the beachrocks of both areas suggest a marine origin. The beachrocks of the Arabian Gulf were precipitated under high evaporation conditions, while beachrocks from the Gulf of Aqaba were precipitated in normal shallow-marine conditions. The mineralogy and textural habits suggest that cementation of these beachrocks started within the shallow-marine phreatic zone.
EN
The southern basin of Aqaba forms coastal aquifer and comprises an area of about 90 km². Alluviums and Pleistocene deposits fill the basin bounded by Precambrian Granite Basement to the east and north. Hydrogeophysical investigations were carried out to investigate its groundwater potentials and characteristics. Direct modeling on Bouger and residual gravity revealed some local subsurface faults that form subbasins and sub-grabens in the body of the basin, each one of them is bounded by two to three faults. The spatial distribution of groundwater was found to be affected by the presence of the sub-basins and grabens. Geoelectrical layers have been vertically digitized and put in a four variable space-lattice, 2D slices of the different depths and 3D visualizations have been produced. The extents of seawater intrusion and zones of water qualities were delineated. The geoelectric inferred some local subsurface faults that were found in spatial correlation with those inferred from the gravity. A good combination was made between gravity and resistivity methods to confirm the 3D distribution of groundwater in the basin.
EN
A detailed ecological study was conducted for three years (2001-03) on a 5 km stretch of well-developed coral reef facing an industrial site in the southernmost section of the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. The degree of modification associated with the prevailing ecological factors was assessed with respect to species diversity and abundance of the major groups of the macrobenthic community: corals, bivalves, hydrozoans, echinoderms, sponges and macroalgae. Three locations of two depths each - 6 and 12 m - were selected and surveyed using the visual census point-intercept method. The actual area of the survey covered about 2250 m2. Macrobenthic communities occurring close to the industrial jetty were characterized by low diversity and the obvious dominance of soft coral (16-30% cover). In the deep transects (12 m) hard coral cover was higher than that in the shallow transects (30-55%). Correlation analyses indicated that species richness increased with increasing distance from the industrial jetty. Species richness of other macrobenthos was also higher as depth increased. The results revealed that the distribution and abundance of coral, echinoderms, hydrozoans and macroalgae were correlated with the relative importance of bottom modification within the various locations in the entire study area. However, no distinct influence of location or depth on the identities of most macrobenthic species was indicated.
EN
Five years (1998, 2000-2003) of summer records of temperature, nutrients and dissolved oxygen concentrations in the upper 400 m of the water column of the northern Gulf of Aqaba were employed to produce a simple statistical model of the relationship between temperature versus nitrate, phosphate, silicate and dissolved oxygen concentrations. Temperature profiles in the upper 400 m during summer revealed a clear thermocline in the upper 200 m. This was reflected in nutrient and oxygen concentrations as nitrate, phosphate, and silicate increased from the surface to deep water while dissolved oxygen decreased. The best fit relationship between temperature versus nitrate and phosphate was inverse linear and the best fit correlation between temperature versus silicate and dissolved oxygen was fractional. The observed nutrient concentrations were shaped by a combination of the hydrodynamics and biological factors. Deep winter mixing and high nutrient concentrations dominate during winter. Shortly after the water stratifies in spring, the nutrients are drawn down by phytoplankton during the spring bloom and remain low throughout the rest of the year. The regression equations presented here will be useful in estimating nutrient concentrations from temperature records as long as the annual natural cycle is the main driver of nutrient concentrations and external inputs are insignificant. Deviations from these relationships in the future could provide insight into modifications in the nutrient concentrations probably resulting from new nutrient sources, such as anthropogenic inputs.
EN
Seismicity in the northernmost part of the Red Sea has been studied using data from Hurghada Seismological Network in addition to readings from the existing neighbouring networks. Relocated events in addition to data from national centers are used to obtain a complete and true picture for the seismicity of the area. The spatial distribution of earthquakes defines three earthquake zones in the Gulf of Aqaba and three zones at the entrance of the Gulf of Suez and southern tip of Sinai Peninsula. The thermal activity and the triple junction nature control the activity in this area. The activity defines also an active trend extending from the southern tip of Sinai Peninsula to the median zone of the Red Sea. The seismicity of this trend is probably related to the active spreading zone associated with the opening of the Red Sea. The b-values are derived for the entrance areas of the two gulfs and for Gulf of Aqaba. Values of b are 1.35 for the triple junction region, 1.13 for the activity be-fore the 22 November 1995 Gulf of Aqaba mainshock and 1.25 for the aftershocks of this event.
EN
In this work we estimated the source process and the source parameters of the 1993 and 1995 Gulf of Aqaba earthquakes. To investigate the source process of both events, we inverted the teleseismic P- and SH-waveform data using an iterative technique in which the rupture is modeled as a series of point source subevents with varying mechanisms. The main source process of the 1993 event can be explained by two subevents with essentially the same mechanism. These two subevents had different focal depths. The second subevent was about 5 s later than the first one and about 70% of the moment rate released with the second one. The total rupture duration time was about 12 s. Our solution for the 1995 Gulf of Aqaba earthquake indicated that the event consists of three subevents with various fault geometries and about 60% of the moment released by the second subevent. The first subevent occurred at a depth of 13 km, and was followed after 9 s by the second one at a depth of 11 km; the third subevent, at a depth of 9 km occurred 19 s after the second one. The total duration of the earthqauke rupture process was about 18.7 s. The obtained mechanisms for the 1993 and 1995 Gulf of Aqaba earthquakes are well correlated with the structural setting of the Gulf of Aqaba.
9
Content available remote Circulation and winter deep-water formation in the northern Red Sea
EN
Water mass characteristics and circulation patterns in the Gulf of Aqaba and northern Red Sea were studied for the first time during the r/v "Meteor" cruise leg 44/2 from February 21st to March 7th 1999 using temperature-salinity profiles and current observations. The deep water in the northern Red Sea had similar characteristics to the well-mixed upper 450 m of water in the Gulf of Aqaba. This indicates that the winter mixed waters of the Gulf of Aqaba contribute significantly to deep-water in the northern Red Sea. Mixing in the Gulf of Aqaba is an annually repeated event that starts with the cooling of the surface water during November-December and reaches a maximum, which in most years extends down the entire water column in March-April. Waters deeper than the mixed layer in the Gulf seems to be rather passive and play no specific role in water mass formation in the northern Red Sea. In contrast to the Gulf of Aqaba, the upper 200 m of the northern Red Sea were stratified (21.5-23.5oC, and 40.0-40.3 PSU). Stratification at the Strait of Tiran was weak (21.6-22.0oC, and 40.3-40.5 PSU) and disappeared abruptly in the Gulf of Aqaba (21.4-21.6oC, and 40.6-40.7 PSU). A well-developed cyclonic gyre with a diameter of about 50-60 km and maximum velocity of about 0.4 m s-1 was observed in the stratified upper 200 m of the northern Red Sea waters. The gyre may contribute to the preconditioning for intermediate water formation in the northern Red Sea.
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