A Study of Water Quality Near to a Coral Reef Site in the Region of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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Canadian Journal on Chemical Engineering & Technology Vol. 3 No. 3, April 2012

A Study of Water Quality
Near to a Coral Reef Site in the Region of
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Rami El Khatib, Adnan Falah, Golaleh Tavakoli, Christine D'cruz and Jasmine Pereira

Abstract — The water quality near to a coral reef site in
Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) was studied.
Many Physico-Chemical parameters for water samples taken at
two different depths (0.5 m and 1.0 m) parallel to a coral reef site were measured and analyzed. The data showed that the pH is equal to 6.4, 6.1 respectively which indicates an acidic
environment. The average of total dissolved solids (TDS) is
approximately equal to 43,600 mg/L and 43,200 respectively,
salinity= 46,242 µs/cm 45,880 µs/cm, specific conductance= 88,433 µs/cm and 86,566 µs/cm. The concentrations of many
other chemical parameters were studied and reported in this
article such as magnesium, copper, CaCO3, potassium, K2O.
The proportions of other inorganic species such as iron,
phosphorus, phosphorus pentaoxide, bromide, and nitrate were also studied and some of these parameters have showed low
concentrations which can indicate a desirable level of
pollutants.

The impacts of these projects have caused increased levels
of turbidity and suspended sediments carried away from the
dredge or reclamation sites5. Other possible stressors for coral reef include: coastal development, sedimentation, coral
bleaching, water pollution, destructive fishing practices, ocean acidification (due to increased atmospheric CO2), and poor
tourism practices.

The resilience of coral reefs has been eroded to an extent
that they have been unable to successfully recover as they have done before6. The article by Hughes et al. (2010) has
distinguished two types of drivers of change, slow or chronic drivers (occur concurrently and are highly interrelated) and fast drivers (occasional disturbances that change the
equilibrium state quickly). Slow or chronic stressors, a result of human activities, such as pollution or sedimentation from dredging activities, at low levels can cause reefs to be
displaced by a fast-acting driver and still recover. However, many coral reefs have been slowly pushed close to a threshold by chronic human impacts, and now commonly fail to recover
from pulses of coral mortality. Bleaching events during 1996 to 1998 had greatly reduced coral cover in some areas in the Arabian Gulf. Recovery has been patchy, with rapid recovery
and apparent acclimation of more susceptible species in
places, while in other areas there was little or no recovery. In this region, coral recovery is limited and different species have grown compared to those that existed before. This recovery
shows the ability of the coral reefs to gain new species from unknown sources; probably due to corals growing in deeper
water5.The aim of this project is to study the water quality near to a coral reef site in Jebel Ali, Dubai in the United Arab
Emirates (Fig. 1,2 and 3). Many Physico-Chemical parameters
for water samples taken at two different depths (0.5 m and 1.0 m) parallel to a coral reef site were measured and analyzed.

Key Words — Coral reef, pH, TDS, Dubai, UAE

I. INTRODUCTION
Coral reefs are found both in coastal (18m – 183m of
water) and shallow water ecosystems (less than 18m of
water)1. They are a vital part of the marine ecosystem and
provide shelter and nourishment for many marine creatures
and contribute to the growth and wellbeing of other marine
ecosystems such as sea grass beds, sandy beaches and
mangrove swamps2. The waters in the UAE (Fig. 1, 2) are
ideal for reef-building as it is rich in calcium carbonate, and reefs have formed along the coast predominantly along Abu
Dhabi. However due to rapid economic development3 and the
subsequent increase in tourism4, coastal projects have
developed that have now changed the coastline of the country. Coral cover...
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