Turquoise lagoons on the coast of Saudi Arabia Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the northwest coastline of Saudi Arabia, which is home to more than 250 coral reef species.
According to NASA, the salty, warm waters off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula create an optimal environment for coral reefs to grow, mainly in shallow lagoons where the shoreline meets the Red Sea.
Turquoise lagoons on the coast of Saudi Arabia also As the depth of the water increases beyond the lagoons, its color shifts from turquoise to deep blue.
Coral reefs that start close to the shore, known as fringing reefs, are located along the northwestern coastline of Saudi Arabia. The reefs become more diverse to the south. The salty, warm waters off the coast of the Arabian Peninsula create an optimal environment for coral reefs to grow, mainly in shallow lagoons where the shoreline meets the Red Sea. The water transitions from bright turquoise in the lagoons to deep blue as depth increases. High rates of evaporation result in salinities of 45–46 g l −1 along the open-marine coast of Abu Dhabi and up to 89 g l −1 in more-restricted lagoons. The coast of Abu Dhabi is locally protected from open-marine conditions by a number of peninsulas and offshore shoals and islands associated with the east–west trending Great Pearl Bank.
The photograph was captured on November 26, 2020 by an astronaut onboard the International Space Station. Evaporite-saline minerals, tidal-flood, and aeolian deposits characterize many sabkhas found along modern coastlines. The accepted type locality for a sabkha is at the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, in the United Arab Emirates.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory