Assessment of Egypt’s Red Sea coastal sensitivity to climate change

Mohamed E. Hereher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A coastal sensitivity index (CSI) was developed to assess the response of the Red Sea coast in Egypt to climate change in terms of sea level rise and global warming. Six different variables pertaining to the intrinsic characteristics of the coast that extends to 1200 km were utilized, notably: coastal geomorphology, coastal slope, width of the coastal plain, shoreline exposure, fauna/flora and land use. Data have been extracted, manipulated and presented using remote sensing and GIS analysis. The resulting coastal sensitivity map depicts the susceptibility levels of the Red Sea coastal plain to climate change. The most severely sensitive segments (very high CSI) account for 31 % (365 km) of the coast. They occur across unconsolidated, flat, wide, exposed, ecologically effective and/or inhabited coasts. On the other hand, the least sensitive (low CSI) coastal segments total 245 km (20 %) and are mainly rocky, steep, narrow, barren and/or inaccessible shores. Eustatic sea level rise by 1 m should inundate a coastal area of 106 km2, whereas a sudden tsunami of 5 m height should overwhelm 724 km2, particularly at the southern section near Shalateen. Global warming of seawater should impact the coastal zone between Hurghada and Marsa Alam (270 km long) due to the occurrence of fringing coral reef systems. The coastal sensitivity index provides a synoptic overview that could help prioritize emergency plans and protection strategies to reduce the ramifications of climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2831-2843
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 25 2015


  • Coral reefs
  • GIS
  • Global warming
  • Mangroves
  • Remote sensing
  • Sea level rise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of Egypt’s Red Sea coastal sensitivity to climate change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this