Northeastern Africa to the west and the Arabian peninsula to the east encircle the semi-enclosed tropical basin that is the Red Sea. Between the Mediterranean Sea in the northwest and the Indian Ocean in the southeast is the elongated, narrow-shaped basin.
It divides into the Gulf of Aqaba and the Gulf of Suez at its northern end; the latter is joined to the Mediterranean Sea by the Suez Canal. Through the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, it is connected at its southernmost point to the Gulf of Aden and the outer Indian Ocean. It has no significant freshwater intake and is surrounded by semi-desert or desert terrain.
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Red Sea Formation
The Red Sea is one of the youngest marine zones on Earth and a geologically recent opening because of the sluggish seafloor spreading that gave it its current shape over the last 4 to 5 million years. The basin is currently growing at a rate of 1-2 centimetres per year.
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Red Sea Bordering Countries
Six countries border the Red Sea namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Eritrea, and Djibouti
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Red Sea Map
The Red Sea is bordered by six countries. Here is the detailed map of the Red Sea.
Red Sea Physical Features
The Red Sea is located in a fault depression that divides North Africa and Arabia, two substantial pieces of the Earth’s crust. The ground inland from the coastal plains rises to heights of more than 6,560 feet above sea level on either side, with the southernmost region being the highest. The Gulf of Suez to the northwest and the Gulf of Aqaba to the northeast divide the Red Sea at its northernmost point.
Approximately 180 to 210 feet deep, the Gulf of Suez is shallow and is surrounded by a wide coastal plain. On the other hand, the Gulf of Aqaba has a narrow plain encircling it and is 5,500 feet deep.
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Red Sea Salinity
One of the saltiest bodies of water in the world is the Red Sea, for a variety of reasons. Low precipitation and high evaporation It has a slender southern link to the Gulf of Aden, an arm of the Indian Ocean, and no large rivers or streams flow into the sea.
With an average salinity of 40, its salinity varies from 36 in the southern half to 41 in the northern part near the Gulf of Suez. (On the Practical Salinity Scale, or PSU, the average salinity of the oceans is 35, or 3.5% of actual dissolved salts.)
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Red Sea Biodiversity
Sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, and several endemic fish species are just a few examples of the diverse marine life that is supported by the Red Sea’s distinctive environments. Coral reefs are primarily found throughout the northern and central beaches, and as coastal waters get more murky, they become less common in the southern region.
Ras Mohammed National Park was established in 1983 as a result of the Egyptian government’s recognition of the region’s unique biodiversity. The laws and guidelines governing this region safeguard the indigenous marine life, which has grown to be a significant magnet for scuba divers.
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Red Sea Economic Aspects
The Red Sea region is home to five main types of mineral resources, including petroleum deposits, evaporite deposits (sediments formed by evaporation, including halite, sylvite, gypsum, and dolomite), sulphur, phosphates, and heavy-metal deposits. The Red Sea is a crucial commerce waterway that connects Europe and Asia (through Suez Canal). Recreational diving sites are found in the sea.
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Why Red Sea is Red?
The Red Sea’s name is derived from seasonal blooms of the red-coloured algae Trichodesmium erythraeum on the water’s surface. This theory is the most widely accepted explanation for the name. Others argue that it is related to the frequent usage of colours in Asiatic languages to denote the four cardinal directions, with “red” denoting “south” and the Black Sea possibly denoting “north.”
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Red Sea UPSC
Inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia, the Red Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. Huge coral reefs in the Red Sea are home to a variety of plants and animals, including enormous anemones, hawksbill turtles, red lionfish, and clownfish.
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