Articles Daily Current Affairs Environment and Biodiversity

Geographical features of the Red Sea 

Context: An Iranian freighter was hit by an “explosion” in the Red Sea, after U.S. media reported Israel had struck the ship in retaliation for past Iranian strikes on its vessels.

  • Iran was at pains to stress that the freighter was a civilian ship, although other sources said it had been used by Iranian commandos as a base for shipping protection and other duties in the area.

Analysis

  • Red Sea 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.
  • Geologically, the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba (Elat) must be considered as the northern extension of the same structure.
  • At its northern end the Red Sea splits into two parts, the Gulf of Suez to the northwest and the Gulf of Aqaba to the northeast.
  • The sea separates the coasts of Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea to the west from those of Saudi Arabia and Yemen to the east.
  • 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 colour 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 colour.
  • The  Sea lies in a fault depression that separates two great blocks of Earth’s crust—Arabia and North Africa.
  • Most of the islands of the Red Sea are merely exposed reefs. There is, however, a group of active volcanoes.
  • 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.

 

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