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Delineation of paleolakes in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, using remote sensing and GIS

Gaber, A., Ghoneim, E., Khalaf, F., El-Baz, F.
Journal of arid environments 2009 v.73 no.1 pp. 127-134
lakes, lacustrine sediments, sediment deposition, remote sensing, geographic information systems, thematic maps, Egypt
Well-stratified lacustrine deposits of clay, silt, and marl occur within the rugged mountainous triangle of igneous and metamorphic rocks of Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. These deposits occur only in two sites along Wadi Feiran channel (Feiran and El-Tarfa Oases), where very dense acidic dykes intersect their stream courses. Such dykes played an important role in damming water from torrential rainfall during the humid period to form lakes. The SRTM (90 m) data and high-resolution images (IKONOS) have been utilized to reconstruct the paleolakes in terms of shape, size and water volume. Results show that lake deposits are located where acidic dykes cross narrow channel of high sinuosity. At their former heights, the dykes dammed the surface runoff, thus, three local freshwater paleolakes formed behind them. GIS analysis shows that the largest of these paleolakes was formed in the area of Feiran Oasis. Two other smaller paleolakes were formed at El-Tarfa Oasis due to the presence of two pronounced acidic dykes. These lake deposits were derived mainly from El-Tih Plateau via Wadi El-Akhdar. Another source of these deposits could have been a thin sedimentary cap over the weathered granites northeast of Feiran basin.