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Mysteries, beauty of the Red Sea.

[05/January/2019] SANAA, Jan.5 (Saba) --Red Sea, Arabic Al-Ba[sz][sup.1]Nr Al-A[sz][sup.1]Nmar, narrow strip of water extending southeastward from Suez, Egypt, for about 1,200 miles (1,930 km) to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects with the Gulf of Aden and thence with the Arabian Sea. The Red Sea is an extension (or inlet) of the Indian Ocean, located between Africa and Asia. The Red Sea contains some of the world's hottest and saltiest seawater, with its connection to the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal, it is one of the most heavily traveled waterways in the world, carrying maritime traffic between Europe and Asia, its name is derived from the color changes observed in its waters. Normally, the Red Sea is an intense blue-green; occasionally, however, it is populated by extensive blooms of the algae, Trichodesmium erythraeum, which, upon dying off, turn the sea a reddish brown color. This salty sea is just over 190 miles (300 km) across at its widest point, and about 1,200 miles (1,900 km) in length. There's a measured maximum depth of 8,200 feet (2,500 m), and an estimated average depth of 1,640 feet (500 m). Much of the immediate shoreline is quite shallow. With hot sunny days, and the lack of any significant rainfall, desert dust storms are known to sweep across the sea, high heat combined with the lack of precipitation facilitates high levels of evaporation - thus the sea's high salinity. Five major types of mineral resources are found in the Red Sea region: petroleum deposits, evaporite deposits (sediments laid down as a result of evaporation, such as halite, sylvite, gypsum, and dolomite), sulfur, phosphates, and the heavy-metal. The Red Sea is one of the few places on Earth that has what is known as a poleward-flowing eastern boundary current, eastern boundary currents are so called because they hug the eastern coasts of continents, but all other such eastern boundary currents head south in the northern hemisphere, but the Red Sea Eastern Boundary Current, unlike all others, flows in the direction of the North Pole. No water enters the Red Sea from rivers, and rainfall is scant; but the evaporation loss--in excess of 80 inches per year--is made up by an inflow through the eastern channel of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait from the Gulf of Aden. Regardless, the consistent sunshine, as well as white sand beaches, pristine coral reefs and a scattering of shipwrecks are currently major attractions for scuba divers and sun worshipers, resorts like Sharm al-Sheikh and others in Egypt's "Red Sea Riviera" along the Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez are fast becoming major tourist destinations. The Strait of Bab Al Mandeb works as a gate ,all waters in and out of the sea must pass through it, no other gates exist, making the Red Sea what is known as a semi-enclosed marginal sea. The Red Sea can be viewed as a mini-ocean, like a toy model ocean, most of the oceanic features in a big ocean such as the Atlantic. The Red Sea is one of the first large bodies of water mentioned in recorded history, it was important in early Egyptian maritime commerce (2000 BCE) and was used as a water route to India by about 1000 BCE, it is believed that it was reasonably well-charted by 1500 BCE, because at that time Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt sailed its length. In winter, incoming surface waters from the Gulf of Aden flow in a typical western boundary current, hugging the western side of the Red Sea along the coasts of Eritrea and Sudan, the current transports the waters northward, but in the central part of the Red Sea, this current veers sharply to the right, When it reaches the eastern side, it continues its convoluted journey to the north, but now it hugs the eastern side of the sea along coast of Saudi Arabia. But the Red Sea also has its own curious characteristics that are not seen in other oceans, it is extremely warm--temperatures in its surface waters reach than 30A Celsius (86A Fahrenheit)--and water evaporates from it at a prodigious rate, making it extremely salty, because of its narrow confines and constricted connection to the global ocean and because it is subject to seasonal flip-flopping wind patterns governed by the monsoons, it has odd circulation patterns. Its currents change in summer and winter. In the Red Sea, the water evaporates at one of the highest rates in the world, like a bathtub in a steam room, you would have to add water from the tap to keep its water level stable. The Red Sea compensates for the large water volume it loses each year through evaporation by importing water from the Gulf of Aden--through the narrow Strait of Bab Al Mandeb between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti and Eritrea on the Horn of Africa. The mountains along Red Sea coasts affect the winds in another way, the mountains aren't entirely compact; there are several gaps in them, the tunnel surrounding the Red Sea has a few holes in both sides, sometimes the winds blow through one of these holes and cross the tunnel, these are the mountain-gap wind jets. The mountain-gap winds in summer blow from Africa to Saudi Arabia through the Tokar Gap near the Sudanese coast. In winter, the mountain-gap winds blow in the opposite direction, from Saudi Arabia to Africa, through many nameless gaps in the northern part of the Red Sea. These jets stir up frequent sandstorms carrying sand and dirt from surrounding deserts into the Red Sea, the sandstorms carry fertilizing nutrients that promote life in the Red Sea, the sands also block incoming sunlight and cool the sea surface. The Red Sea was subject to substantial scientific research in the 20th century, particularly since World War II, notable cruises included those of the Swedish research vessel Albatross (1948) and the American Glomar Challenger (1972). In addition to studying the sea's chemical and biological properties, researchers focused considerable attention on understanding its geologic structure, much of the geologic study was in conjunction with oil exploration. Written by Mona Zaid Saba

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Publication:Yemen News Agency (SABA)
Date:Jan 5, 2019
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