The Nile Delta, Egypt – September 29th, 2008
The Nile Delta (Arabic: دلتا النيل ) is the delta formed in Northern Egypt (Lower Egypt) where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world’s largest river deltas – from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers some 240 km of Mediterranean coastline – and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.
The Nile is considered to be an “arcuate” delta (arc-shaped), and resembles a triangle or lotus flower when seen from above. The outer edges of the delta are eroding, and some coastal lagoons have seen increasing salinity levels as their connection to the Mediterranean Sea increases. Since the delta no longer receives an annual supply of nutrients and sediments from upstream due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam, the soils of the floodplains have become poorer, and large amounts of fertilizers are now used.
Topsoil in the delta can be as much as 70 feet in depth. Also the topsoil falls off in the land and causes the water to rise.