Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures

Reef Mapping, Monitoring, and Sensitivity Analysis in the Northern Red Sea (Safaga Bay, Ras Banas, Egypt) and the Arabian Gulf (Dubai, UAE)

Event Name/Location

Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Workshop, June 2-6, 1998

Presentation Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Sea floor types, biota and sedimentary facies were mapped in northern Safaga Bay, Red Sea Egypt. After quantitative evaluation by line transects and adequate statistical description, coral communities were visually identified according to the statistically obtained groupings and superimposed on the base-line map. A series of maps detailing the distribution of key biota, like sea grass meadows, mangroves and coral reefs, including spatial patterns in the ecological differentiation of coral communities was produced. Damaged areas and the type of damage were mapped as well. The maps, together with ecological baseline information, allowed drawing conclusions about the most sensitive areas in the bay, particularly in the face of massive development. A similar approach was taken at Ras Banas, which made identification of sensitive areas possible. In both cases, the maps can be used for monitoring changes.

In the Arabian Gulf, at Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the spatial patterns of coral communities were mapped in early 1996. Later the same year, a mass mortality affected all Acropora. Using the map, it was possible to evaluate the extent of the areas that had suffered community phase-shifts due to Acropora mortality and the extent of the areas that had remained unaffected. It would now be possible to calculate the areal extent of recovery growth at any given time interval.


The 1998 AGRRA Workshop was held at the University of Miami June 2-6, 1998. Its major purpose was to review the Protocol for Rapid Assessment of the condition of coral reefs and to lay plans for beginning the evaluation of representative examples of Reefs of the Americas (Western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico).

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