Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 839–849 | Cite as

Geochemical and textural properties of carbonate and terrigenous sediments along the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba

  • Saber Al-RousanEmail author
  • Mohammed Rasheed
  • Fuad Al-Horani
  • Riyad Manasrah


The physicochemical properties of 21 marine sediment samples were investigated, collected from five different localities along the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. According to the chemical parameters, sediments were categorized into three groups: carbonate (80% CaCO3), composed mainly of materials of calcareous skeletal structures; terrigenous (<10% CaCO3) depositional areas for land-derived materials from surrounding rocks and alluviums; and a admixture of the first two (19–37% CaCO3). High significant linear correlations were found between organic carbon (OC) and total nitrogen (TN), indicating the occurrence of these components in a common phase (organic matter). Despite the co-occurrence of TP in organic matter, these two elements were negatively correlated, indicating anthropogenic sources of pollution such as phosphate exportation (hotel areas and clinker port sites) and industrial activities (industrial complex site). The study found that variations in texture properties and mud contents were due to differences in sediment sources, topography and their response during currents and waves. The finer, well-sorted sediments contain lower elemental concentrations of OC, calcium carbonate and TN (excluding TP) than coarser, poorly-sorted sediments.


Marine sediments terrigenous carbonate texture Gulf of Aqaba 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abu-Hilal, A. (1986): Fluoride distribution in the Jordan Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea). Sci. Total Env., 49, 227–234.Google Scholar
  2. Abu-Hilal, A. (1987): Distribution of forms of sedimentary phosphorus near a phosphate-polluted coral reef area in the Jordan Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Dirasat., 14, 150–163.Google Scholar
  3. Al-Rousan, S., M. Rasheed and M. Badran (2004): Nutrient diffusive fluxes from sediments in the northern Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Scientia Marina, 68(4), 483–490.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Rousan, S., M. Rasheed, M. Khalaf and M. Badran (2005): Ecological and geochemical characteristics of bottom habitats at the northern Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. Chem. and Ecol., 21(4), 227–239.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, J. (1976): An ignition method for determination of total phosphorus in lake sediments. Water Resources, 10, 329–331.Google Scholar
  6. Badran, M. and P. Foster (1998): Environmental quality of the Jordanian cosatal waters of the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Aqua. Ecosys. Health Manag., 1, 75–89.Google Scholar
  7. Balzer, W., B. Bodungen and F. Pollehne (1985): Benthic degradation of organic matter and regeneration of nutrients in shallow water sediments off Mactan, Philippines. The Philippine Sci., 22, 30–41.Google Scholar
  8. Barabas, S. (1981): Eutrophication can be controlled. Wat. Qual. Bull., 6(4), 59.Google Scholar
  9. Barrie, E., G. Kevin, G. Robin and J. Willington (1983): Occurrence of phosphorus and nitrogen in coral reef sediments on Davies reef in the central region of the Great Barrier Reef complex. Limnol. Oceanogr., 28(3), 465–476.Google Scholar
  10. Berman, T., N. Paldor and S. Brenner (2000): Simulation of wind-driven circulation in the Gulf of Elat (Aqaba). J. Mar. Sys., 26, 349–365.Google Scholar
  11. Bonanni, P., R. Caprioli, E. Gthiara, R. Mignuzzi, C. Orlandi, G. Paganin and A. Monti (1992): Sediment and interstitial water chemistry of Orbetello lagoon (Grosseto, Italy); nutrient diffusion across the water-sediment interface. Hydrobiol., 235/236, 553–568.Google Scholar
  12. Boynton, W. and W. Kemp (1985): Nutrient regeneration and oxygen consumption by sediments along an estuarine salinity gradient. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 23, 45–55.Google Scholar
  13. Capone, D., S. Dunham, S. Horrigan and L. Duguay (1992): Microbial nitrogen transformation in unconsolidated coral reef sediments. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 80, 75–88.Google Scholar
  14. Clifford, M., C. Horton, J. Schmitz and L. Kantha (1997): An oceanographic nowcast/forecast system for the Red Sea. J. Geophys. Res., 102(25), 101–122.Google Scholar
  15. deKanel, J. and J. Morse (1978): The chemistry of orthophosphate uptake from sea water into calcite and aragonite. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 42, 1335–1340.Google Scholar
  16. Emery, K. (1964): Sediment of the Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat). p. 257–273. In Papers in Marine Geology, ed. by R. L. Miller, Shepard Commemorative volume. Macmillan Company, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Entsch, B., K. Boto, R. Sim and J. Wellington (1983): Phosphorus and nitrogen in coral reef sediments. Limnol. Oceanogr., 28, 465–476.Google Scholar
  18. Folk, R. (1966): A review of grain size parameters. Sedimentology, 6, 73–93.Google Scholar
  19. Folk, R. (1968): Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks. University of Texas Publication, Austin, Texas, 170 pp.Google Scholar
  20. Folk, R. (1974): The Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks. Hemphill Publishing Co., Austin, Texas, 182 pp.Google Scholar
  21. Folk, R. and W. Ward (1957): Petrology of Sedimentary Rocks. Hemphills, Austin, Texas.Google Scholar
  22. Friedman, G. (1968): Geology and geochemistry of reefs, carbonate sediments, and waters, Gulf of Aqaba (Elat), Red Sea. J. Sed. Petrol., 38(2), 895–919.Google Scholar
  23. Friedman, G. (1985): Gulf of Elat (Aqaba), geological and sedimentological framework. In A Review of Marine Science Research in the Gulf of Aqaba, ed. by N. C. Hulings (1989).Google Scholar
  24. Friedman, G., J. Sanders and C. Kopaska-Merkel (1992): Principles of Sedimentary Deposits. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York.Google Scholar
  25. Furnas, M., A. Mitchell and M. Skuza (1995): Nitrogen and phosphorus budgets for the Central Park Authority. Vol. 35, Townsville.Google Scholar
  26. Gaudette, H., W. Flight, L. Toner and D. Folger (1974): An inexpensive titration method for the determination of organic carbon in recent sediments. J. Sed. Petrol., 44, 249–253.Google Scholar
  27. Genin, A. and N. Paldor (1998): Changes in the circulation and current spectrum near the tip of the narrow, seasonally mixed Gulf of Elat (Aqaba). Israel. J. Earth Sci., 47, 87–92.Google Scholar
  28. Holme, N. and A. Mcintyre (1971): Methods of the Study of Marine Benthos. I. B. P. Handbook, 16 pp.Google Scholar
  29. Howarth, R. W., H. S. Jensen, R. Marino and H. Postma (1995): Transport to and processing of phosphorus in near-shore and oceanic waters. p. 323–346. In Phosphorus in the Global Environment. Transfers, Cycles and Management, ed. by Holm Tiessen, SCOPE 54, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Chichester.Google Scholar
  30. Hulings, N. (1989): A Review of Marine Science Research in the Gulf of Aqaba. Puplications of the Marine Science Station, Jordan, 267 pp.Google Scholar
  31. Hulings, N. and N. Ismail (1978): The organic carbon content of seagrass, coraline and terrigenous sand bottoms in the Jordanian Gulf of Aqaba. Dirasat, 5(1), 155–162.Google Scholar
  32. Hulings, N. C. and H. Kirkman (1982): Further observations and data on seagrass along the Jordanian and Saudi Arabian coasts of the Gulf of Aqaba. Tethys., 10, 218–220.Google Scholar
  33. Ismail, N. and J. Awad (1984): Organic carbon and calcium carbonate distribution near sewage outfalls in the Jordan Gulf of Aqaba. Red Sea. Arab Gulf J. Scient. Res., 2(2), 547–558.Google Scholar
  34. Jorgensen, B. B. (1983): Processes at the sediment-water interface. p. 477–515. In The Major Biochemical Cycles and Their Interactions, Vol. 21, ed. by B. Bolin and R. B. Cook, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.Google Scholar
  35. Libes, S. M. (1992): An Introduction to Marine Biogeochemistry. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 734 pp.Google Scholar
  36. Malcolm, S. J. and S. O. Stanley (1982): The sediment environment. p. 1–45. In Sediment Microbiology, ed. by D. B. Nedwell and C. M. Brown, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  37. Manasrah, R., M. Badran, H. U. Lass and W. Fennel (2004): Circulation and winter-deep water formation in the northern Red Sea. Oceanologica, 46, 5–23.Google Scholar
  38. Manasrah, R., H. U. Lass and W. Fennel (2006): Circulation in the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea) during winter-spring. J. Oceanogr., 62, 219–225.Google Scholar
  39. Mantaggioni, L. and C. Gabrie (1982): Sedimentary facies from the modern coral reefs, Jordan Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Coral Reefs, 1, 115–124.Google Scholar
  40. McRoy, C. P. and R. J. Barsdate (1970): Phosphate absorption in eelgrass. Limnol. Oceanogr., 15, 6–13.Google Scholar
  41. Monismith, S. and A. Genin (2004): Tides and sea level in the Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat). J. Geophys. Res., 109(C04015), doi:10.1029/2003JC002069.Google Scholar
  42. Muller, G. (1967): Methods in sedimentary petrology. J. Sed. Petrol., Part 1, Gebruder Ran2, Dietenheim.Google Scholar
  43. Rasheed, M., M. I. Badran and M. Huettel (2003): Particulate matter filtration and seasonal nutrient dynamics in permeable carbonate and silicate sands of the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Coral Reefs, 22, 167–177.Google Scholar
  44. Rasheed, M., W. Christian, U. Frank and M. Huettel (2004a): Benthic photosynthesis and oxygen consumption in permeable carbobnate sediments at Heron Island, Graet Barier Reef, Australia. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci., 59, 139–150.Google Scholar
  45. Rasheed, M., K. Trabeen, S. Al-Rousan and M. Badran (2004b): Quality of bottom surface sediments at an industrial site on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, Jordan. Mu’tah Lil Buhuth wad-Dirasat “Natural and Applied Sciences Series”, 19(3) 99–115.Google Scholar
  46. Reddy, K. R. and W. H. Patrick (1984): Nitrogen transformations and loss in flooded soils and sediments. Inc. Crit. Rev. Environ. Control, 13, 273–309.Google Scholar
  47. Reiss, Z. and L. Hottinger (1984): The Gulf of Aqaba Ecological Micropaleontolgy. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  48. Rittenberg, S., K. Emery and L. Wilson (1992): Regeneration of nutrients in sediments of marine basins. Deep-Sea Res., 3, 23–45.Google Scholar
  49. Romankevich, E. A. (1984): Geochemistry of Organic Matter in Ocean. Springer-Verlag, New York. 334 pp.Google Scholar
  50. Schroeder, J. H. and B. H. Purser (1986): Reef Diagenesis. Springer-Verlag, New York, 448 pp.Google Scholar
  51. Schuhmacher, H., W. Kiene and W-Ch. Dullo (1995): Factors controlling Holocene reef growth: An interdisciplinary approach. Facies, 32, 145–188.Google Scholar
  52. Sorkin, Y. I. (1995): Coral Reef Ecology. Ecological Studies, Vol. 192. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  53. Strickland, J. D. H. and T. R. Parsons (1972): A Particular Handbook of Seawater Analysis. Fish Research Board of Canada Bull, Ottawa, 311 pp.Google Scholar
  54. Szmant, A. and A. Forrester (1996): Water column and sediment nitrogen and phosphorus distribution pattern in Florida Keys, USA. Coral Reefs, 15, 21–41.Google Scholar
  55. Vaugelas, J. de and O. Naim (1982): Organic matter distribution in the marine sediments of the Jordanian Gulf of Aqaba. Proc. 4th Int. Coral Reefs Symp. Manila, 1, 405–410.Google Scholar
  56. Wahbeh, M. I. (1982): Distribution, biomass, biometry and some associated fauna of seagrass community in the Jordan Gulf of Aqaba. Proc. 4th Int. Coral Reefs Symp. Manaila, 1, 453–459.Google Scholar
  57. Wollast, R. (1991): The coastal organic carbon cycle: fluxes, sources, and sinks. p. 365–381. In Ocean Margin Processes in Global Change, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan/TERRAPUB/Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saber Al-Rousan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohammed Rasheed
    • 1
  • Fuad Al-Horani
    • 1
  • Riyad Manasrah
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Science StationThe University of Jordan & Yarmouk UniversityAqabaJordan

Personalised recommendations