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Definition: Red Sea from Philip's Encyclopedia

Narrow arm of the Indian Ocean between NE Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, connected to the Mediterranean Sea by the Gulf of Suez and the Suez Canal. With the building of vessels too large for the canal and the construction of pipelines, the Red Sea's importance as a trade route diminished. Max. width: c.320km (200mi). Area: 438,000sq km (169,000sq mi).

Summary Article: Red Sea
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Branch of the Indian Ocean, formed from a submerged (and still gradually widening) section of the Great Rift Valley, extending northwest from the Gulf of Aden. It is 2,000 km/1,200 mi long and up to 320 km/200 mi wide, reaching depths of over 2,300 m/7,545 ft. Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea (in Africa) and Saudi Arabia (Asia) are on its shores. At its northern end, it divides into the gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, separated by the Sinai peninsula. No rivers flow into the Red Sea; in addition to high temperatures, this results in very high levels of salinity and other dissolved salts.

Lying to the south of the Suez Canal, the Red Sea is a major highway for shipping, linking Western Europe and Mediterranean countries with the Middle East, East Africa, and East Asia. The principal harbours are Jiddah in Saudi Arabia (the port for Mecca), Elat in Israel on the Gulf of Aqaba, and Suez, Port Sudan, and Massowa on the African coast.


coral reef in the Red Sea

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