Natural and Human Impact on the Northeastern Nile Delta Coast of Egypt


  • Omran E. Frihy
  • Khalid M. Dewidar
  • Mahmod M. El Banna


Nile delta, Egypt, beach erosion, bottom changes, sediment transport, profile analysis


Beach profile data along the northeastern Nile delta, measured during the years 1971 to 1993, identify long-term seafloor and shoreline changes and sediment transport patterns. Two major zones of pronounced erosion occur in the vicinity of the Damietta Harbor and along the tip of the Damietta promontory. The erosion along the Damietta promontory is largely the result of cut off sediment supply to the coast. In the absence of sediment supply from the Nile river, waves and currents have strongly eroded the delta promontory close to the river mouth. Accretion continued further west in sediment sinks at the Gamasa emabyment, east of the river mouth, and locally along Manzala lagoon barrier. Based on results of profile analyses the inferred directions of transport indicate that there has been a crossshore component to the sediment movement, with erosion of the beach face and inner surf zone and the transport of the eroded sand toward the offshore as well as in the longshore direction. The spatial distributions of shoreline and bottom changes reflect the natural effect of interrupted sediment supply, sediment transport processes, shoreline configuration, seafloor gradient as well as impacts of the construction of protective structures.