Red Sea

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Red Sea

Red Sea

Red Sea

Red Sea

Red Sea

Red Sea

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb sound and the Gulf of Aden. In the north are the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion.

Occupying a part of the Great Rift Valley, the Red Sea has a surface area of about 438,000 km² (169,100 square miles ). It is roughly 2250 km (1398 mi) long and, at its widest point at 355 km (220.6 miles) wide. It has a maximum depth of 2211 m (7254 ft) in the central median trench and an average depth of 490 m (1,608 feet), but there are also extensive shallow shelves, noted for their marine life and corals. The sea is the habitat of over 1,000 invertebrate species and 200 soft and hard corals and is the world's northernmost tropical sea.

Geology

The Red Sea was formed by Arabia splitting from Africa due to plate tectonics. This split started in the Eocene and accelerated during the Oligocene. The sea is still widening and it is considered that the sea will become an ocean in time (as proposed in the model of John Tuzo Wilson).

Sometimes during the Tertiary period the Bab el Mandeb closed and the Red Sea evaporated to an empty hot dry salt-floored sink. Effects causing this would be:

  • A "race" between the Red Sea widening and Perim Island erupting filling the Bab el Mandeb with lava.
  • The lowering of world sea level during the Ice Ages due to much water being locked up in the ice caps.

Today surface water temperatures remain relatively constant at 21–25 °C (70–77 °F) and temperature and visibility remain good to around 200 m (656 ft), but the sea is known for its strong winds and unpredictable local currents.

In terms of salinity, the Red Sea is greater than the world average, approximately 4 percent. This is due to several factors:

  1. High rate of evaporation and very little precipitation.
  2. Lack of significant rivers or streams draining into the sea.
  3. Limited connection with the Indian Ocean, which has lower water salinity.

A number of volcanic islands rise from the center of the sea. Most are dormant, but in 2007 Jabal al-Tair island erupted violently.

Living resources

The Red Sea is a rich and diverse ecosystem. More than 1200 species of fish have been recorded in the Red Sea, and around 10% of these are found nowhere else.This also includes 42 species of deepwater fish. The rich diversity is in part due to the 2,000 km (1,240 mi) of coral reef extending along its coastline; these fringing reefs are 5000-7000 years old and are largely formed of stony acropora and porites corals. The reefs form platforms and sometimes lagoons along the coast and occasional other features such as cylinders (such as the Blue Hole (Red Sea) at Dahab). These coastal reefs are also visited by pelagic species of red sea fish, including some of the 44 species of shark.

The special biodiversity of the area is recognised by the Egyptian government, who set up the Ras Mohammed National Park in 1983. The rules and regulations governing this area protect local wildlife, which has become a major draw for tourists, in particular for diving enthusiasts.

Divers and snorkellers should be aware that although most Red Sea species are innocuous, a few are hazardous to humans: see Red Sea species hazardous to humans.

Other marine habitats include sea grass beds, salt pans, mangroves and salt marshes.

   

 

Существует несколько версий о том, почему Красное море получило свое название. Самой правдоподобной считается, что название море приобрело из-за имеющихся здесь подводных розово-красных скал. При освещении пустынным солнцем, с поверхности кажется, что вода приобретает красный оттенок. Рельеф морского дна делится на три части. Прибрежная полоса имеет глубины до 200 метров. Самая широкая прибрежная полоса находится в южной части, где расположено множество коралловых и скалистых островов. Большей частью дна является впадина от разлома, глубина которой достигает 1000 метров. И сам ралом, представляющий собой узкий и глубокий желоб, глубина которого до 3000 метров.

Красное мореТемпература воды в Красном море даже зимой не опускается ниже 20 градусов. Это создает прекрасные условия для развития многочисленной и разнообразной флоры и фауны. Вода в Красном море очень соленая и самая прозрачная, потому что в него не впадает ни одна река. Видимость под водой  там, где нет сильных течений, достигает 40 метров. По красоте и разнообразию кораллов и морских обитателей, Красному морю нет равных.  В нем водятся более тысячи видов рыб, растет более двухсот видов кораллов. Огромные коралловые рифы образуют необыкновенно красивую и сложную по своему строению скалистую систему, уходящую на десятки метров в глубину. Уникальный и невероятно богатый подводный мир этого ближайшего к Европе тропического моря, несомненно давно уже привлек внимание дайверов  со всего мира.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 24 February 2014 22:04  

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