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Sand Seas and Dune Fields of Egypt

1
Im Neuenheimer Feld 348, Institute of Geography and Heidelberg Center for the Environment, Heidelberg University, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2
Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts, Ain Shams University, Cairo, El-Khalyfa El-Ma’moun Street Abbasya, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030101
Received: 22 August 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2020 / Accepted: 5 March 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aeolian Processes and Geomorphology)
The article reviews the state of knowledge about distribution, sizes, dynamics, and ages of all sand seas (N = 6) and dune fields (N = 10) in Egypt (1,001,450 km2). However, chronological data (Optically Stimulated Luminescence, Thermoluminescence), used in the INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) dune database, only exists from three of the five sand seas located in the Western Desert of Egypt. The North Sinai Sand Sea and four of the ten dune fields are located near the Nile Valley, the delta or the coast and therefore changed drastically due to land reclamation during the last decades. Here, but also in the oases, their sands pose a risk for settlements and farmland. Our comprehensive investigations of satellite images and our field measurements show that nearly all terrestrial dune forms can be observed in Egypt. Longitudinal dunes and barchans are dominant. Sand seas cover about 23.8% (with an average sand coverage of 74.8%), dune fields about 4.4% (with an average sand coverage of 31.7%) of its territory. For the Great Sand Sea and the Farafra Sand Sea, situated in the central and northern part of the Western Desert, a Late Glacial transformation by strong westerlies was found, but not for the Selima Sand Sea, situated in the south of Egypt. Regarding the sparse chronological data up to now, for a reasonable estimation of future sand mobility in the course of global climate change, further data are essential. Finally, further studies concerning sand mobility, local wind systems, and land use are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Egypt; sand seas; dunes; sand accumulation; geomorphology; aeolian morphodynamics Egypt; sand seas; dunes; sand accumulation; geomorphology; aeolian morphodynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bubenzer, O.; Embabi, N.S.; Ashour, M.M. Sand Seas and Dune Fields of Egypt. Geosciences 2020, 10, 101. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030101

AMA Style

Bubenzer O, Embabi NS, Ashour MM. Sand Seas and Dune Fields of Egypt. Geosciences. 2020; 10(3):101. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030101

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bubenzer, Olaf, Nabil S. Embabi, and Mahmoud M. Ashour. 2020. "Sand Seas and Dune Fields of Egypt" Geosciences 10, no. 3: 101. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030101

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