environmental assessment on the aqaba gulf coastal waters, egypt
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Environmental Information and Monitoring Programme (EIMP) for the Egyptian coastal waters of Aqaba Gulf was established to initial monitoring and data base system by applying quality control assessments in order to evaluate, protect and sustainable use of coastal regions. Within the framework of this programme six bimonthly field campaigns were carried out annually during 1998 – 2004. A total of 11 coastal stations were selected to cover different locations of the Gulf. The surface distribution patterns of hydrographical parameters (water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH) as well as chlorophyll-a, total suspended matter, transparency, nitrogen and phosphorus forms and reactive silicate were investigated. The obtained data of seven years work deduced that no thermocline or thermal pollution, variations in the pH and salinity values were insignificant and the water was well-oxygenated. The concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus in the dissolved and total forms as well as reactive silicate were found quite low. The abundance of inorganic nitrogen forms were found in the order NH4-N > NO3-N≥ NO2-N reflecting the increasing rate of NH4-N production than its uptake rate as compared with the other inorganic nitrogen forms. The study showed that, nitrogen and phosphorus were found in Aqaba Gulf coastal waters, principally, in organic forms. The low levels of obtained during the present away for each of Chl-a, TSM, NH4-N, NO3-N, TN, PO4-P and TP signified that Aqaba Gulf Coastal waters can be classified between oligotrophes to mesotrophic state. Accordingly, it is safe to conclude that the area of study is not yet seriously threatened, in spite of the rapid recreational and human developments taken place on its coast during the last ten years.