Environmental Geology

, Volume 46, Issue 6–7, pp 914–931 | Cite as

Evolution of the modern Nile delta promontories: development of accretional features during shoreline retreat

  • Omran Frihy
  • Deborah LawrenceEmail author
Original Article


The active accretional features that have developed along the modern Nile Delta promontories during shoreline retreat are analysed using topographic maps, remote imagery, ground and hydrographic surveys, together providing 15 time-slice maps (1922–2000) at Rosetta and 14 time-slice maps (1909–2000) at Damietta. Small double sandy spits developed and persisted at Rosetta between 1986 and 1991. At Damietta, a much larger single spit, 9 km long, formed approximately east of the mouth of the Damietta Nile branch between 1955 and 1972, although its source has now been depleted. Both the Rosetta and Damietta inlets are associated with submerged mouth bars that accumulated prior to the damming of the Nile, but that continue to contribute to local sedimentation problems, particularly at Rosetta. The development of the active accretional features along the Nile promontories reflects a combination of factors including sediment availability, transport pathways from source areas, a decrease in the magnitude of Nile flood discharges, as well as the impact of protective structures at the river mouths.


Accretional features Nile delta promontories Shoreline retreat 



The present investigation was undertaken as part of a programme of the Coastal Research Institute, Egypt, to monitor morphodynamic changes of the Nile Delta coastline. The authors appreciate the assistance and efforts of the staff of the Coastal Research Institute who contributed in the field and laboratory work underlying this study. Advice from Dr Alfy Fanos, Coastal Research Institute, and Eng. Mohamed El Tiebany, Egyptian Shore Protection Authority, were much valued and contributed appreciably to the quality of this paper. The TM images of the years 1990 and 2000 were kindly provided by Mrs Mona Kaiser of Reading University, UK. The superimposed images for 1987 and 1999 were kindly provided by Dr Hamdy EL Gamily, National Authority on Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS), Egypt.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coastal Research InstituteAlexandriaEgypt
  2. 2.Postgraduate Research Institute for SedimentologyThe University of ReadingReading UK

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