Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 62 (No. 6), pp. 839-849, 2006
Saber Al-Rousan*, Mohammed Rasheed, Fuad Al-Horani and Riyad Manasrah
Marine Science Station, The University of Jordan & Yarmouk University,P.O. Box 195, 77110 Aqaba, Jordan
(Received 18 January 2006; in revised form 12 July 2006; accepted 12 July 2006)
Abstract: The physicochemical properties of 21 marine sediment samples were investigated, collected from five different localities along the Jordanian coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. According to the chemical parameters, sediments were categorized into three groups: carbonate (80% CaCO3), composed mainly of materials of calcareous skeletal structures; terrigenous (<10% CaCO3) depositional areas for land-derived materials from surrounding rocks and alluviums; and a admixture of the first two (19-37% CaCO3). High significant linear correlations were found between organic carbon (OC) and total nitrogen (TN), indicating the occurrence of these components in a common phase (organic matter). Despite the co-occurrence of TP in organic matter, these two elements were negatively correlated, indicating anthropogenic sources of pollution such as phosphate exportation (hotel areas and clinker port sites) and industrial activities (industrial complex site). The study found that variations in texture properties and mud contents were due to differences in sediment sources, topography and their response during currents and waves. The finer, well-sorted sediments contain lower elemental concentrations of OC, calcium carbonate and TN (excluding TP) than coarser, poorly-sorted sediments.