The Impact of Human Activities on the Erosion and Accretion of the Nile Delta Coast


  • Alfy Morcos Fanos


Control erosion, shoreline change, shore profile, marine physiography, deltaic sediments.


The Nile delta has come into existence since the last ice age. Its growth was mainly the result of the deposition of sediments carried by the old branches of the Nile River under the influence of the dynamic forces in the Mediterranean. At the beginning of this century, the shoreline of the Nile delta began to experience erosion in several areas especially on the two promontories; i.e. the areas around the Rosetta and Damietta outlets. This erosion is in addition to that of the Burullus area which has been occurring since the 10th century. Erosion in the delta increased greatly after the construction of the High Aswan Dam in 1964 which trapped Nile sediments in Nasser Lake.

Members of the Coastal Research Institute (CRl) have studied the accretion/erosion phenomena of the Nile delta since 1971. Their research has included the examination of the available maps and continuous monitoring of about 70 hydrographic profiles a number that was increased to 80 in 1980 and 150 in 1986. A computer program was developed to analyze data collected and the erosion/accretion pattern along the Nile was delineated. As a result, it was found that for adequate monitoring and assessment of erosion/accretion phenomena the coast can be divided into nine physiographic units.