Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

Saudi Arabia, Red Sea Coast

  • Eric Bird
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_188


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a Red Sea coast about 2,000 km long. The Arabian Peninsula has a steep western escarpment rising to 1,500–3,000 m at the edge of a plateau that declines gradually eastward, flattening to a broad coastal plain. The escarpment crest is only 40 km inland in the north, diverging to 150 km in the south. The landscape is largely desert. Numerous short, steep wadis descend the escarpment to the Red Sea coast, generally dry and gravelly but flowing briefly and torrentially after occasional heavy rain. Longer watercourses run eastward, but there are no permanent rivers. The climate is hot and arid.

Jeddah on the Red Sea coast has 23°C in January and 31°C in July, with a mean annual rainfall of 81 mm.

The Red Sea has surface temperatures rising to 31°C in the south and 27°C in the north in July, and between 24 and 26°C in January, falling to 20°C in the Gulf of Aqaba. Salinity is high (37–40 ppt) and evaporation from the sea surface of about 2 m/year...


Coral Reef Saudi Arabia Reef Flat Fault Scarp Fringe Reef 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Bird
    • 1
  1. 1.GeostudiesMelbourneAustralia