Evaluation of the gulf of aqaba coastal water, Jordan

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Water (Switzerland)


© 2020 by the authors. (1) Background: The Gulf of Aqaba (GoA) supports unique and diverse marine ecosystems. It is one of the highest anthropogenically impacted coasts in the Middle East region, where rapid human activities are likely to degrade these naturally diverse but stressed ecosystems. (2) Methods: Various water quality parameters were measured to assess the current status and conditions of GoA seawater including pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), total alkalinity (TA), Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, PO43-, NH4+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Sr, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb, and Zn. (3) Results: The pH values indicated basic coastal waters. The elevated levels of TDS with an average of about 42 g/L indicated highly saline conditions. Relatively low levels of inorganic nutrients were observed consistent with the prevalence of oligotrophic conditions in GoA seawater. The concentrations of Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Sr, Cl-, and SO42- in surface layer varied spatially from about 423-487, 2246-2356, 9542-12,647, 513-713, 9.2-10.4, 22,173-25,992, and 317-407 mg/L, respectively. The average levels of Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn ranged from 0.51, 0.38, 1.44, 1.29, 0.88, 0.38, and 6.05 μg/L, respectively. (4) Conclusions: The prevailing saline conditions of high temperatures, high evaporation rates, the water stratification and intense dust storms are major contributing factors to the observed seawater chemistry. The surface distribution of water quality variables showed spatial variations with no specific patterns, except for metal contents which exhibited southward increasing trends, closed to the industrial complex. The vast majority of these quality parameters showed relatively higher values compared to those of other regions.

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