Recent environmental changes of Al-Salam Lagoon as inferred from core sediment geochemistry and benthic foraminifera, Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia

  • Ramadan H. Abu-ZiedEmail author
  • Mohammed I. Orif
Original Article


The Al-Salam Lagoon is located at the center of Jeddah’s coast, showing unhealthy conditions such as evolving bad odor and spread of a thick sludge layer on its beach. The succession of its recent bottom sediments at the upper intertidal area was investigated through a sediment core SALAM1 (220 cm long) in order to evaluate the impact of pollution on the Al-Salam Lagoon’s environment, comparing with the conditions that existed prior to the industrial revolution. The principal component analysis and variations of benthic foraminifera in the core divided the recent bottom sediments of the lagoon into three intervals. The basal interval (below 110 cm) composed of low organic carbon, high carbonate, white-grey, bioclastic sandy mud enriched in oligotrophic, clear water, hypersaline symbiont-bearing species indicating deposition under unpolluted, natural lagoonal conditions with clear, high salinity waters. The middle interval (45 cm thick) showed a very rapid environmental change with deposition under unpolluted, natural lagoonal conditions as well but in a normal Red Sea salinity water due to a rapid overturn as evidenced by the decrease of hypersaline symbiont-bearing species. The upper interval (65 cm thick) composed of organic-rich, low-carbonate, reduced, black, sludgy mud indicating high anthropogenic activities. This black mud is devoid of benthic life except only two stress (pollution)-tolerant species, suggesting that the upper Al-Salam Lagoon is in its final stage of pollution.


Opportunistic Stress-tolerant Pollution Hypersaline Organic carbon Foraminifera 



This work was supported by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under Grant no. (150-44-D1440). The authors, therefore, gratefully acknowledge the DSR technical and financial support. Also, the authors thank the 4th year students (Mohammed A. Al Alshiekh, Abdullah Talhi and Abdulrazaq A. Bwazier) and Talha Al-Dubai for their help during the field work of this research. The reviewers Silvia Sousa and anonymous are also thanked for their useful comments and suggestions that improved the paper.

Supplementary material

12665_2019_8057_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (20 kb)
Appendix: Census data of benthic foraminiferal species recorded in the sediment core SALAM1, Al-Salam Lagoon, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (XLSX 20 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marine Chemistry Department, Faculty of Marine SciencesKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddah 21589Saudi Arabia
  2. 2.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceMansoura UniversityEl-Mansoura 35516Egypt

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