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. The Red Sea is located in an arid tropical zone; it is highly-enclosed, has no permanent riverine inputs, and is the warmest and most saline of the world's seas. The Red Sea is around 2,000 km long and up to 280 km wide, with a mean depth of 500 m and maximum of 2,000 m. It is unique among deep bodies of water in having stable warm temperatures throughout its deeper waters (a near constant 21 °C below about 300m depth). These temperatures are largely maintained through a density-driven water circulation in which warm waters from the Gulf of Suez sink and flow steadily southwards. Very high r . The Red Sea is located in an arid tropical zone; it is highly-enclosed, has no permanent riverine inputs, and is the warmest and most saline of the world's seas. The Red Sea is around 2,000 km long and up to 280 km wide, with a mean depth of 500 m and maximum of 2,000 m. It is unique among deep bodies of water in having stable warm temperatures throughout its deeper waters (a near constant 21 °C below about 300m depth). These temperatures are largely maintained through a density-driven water circulation in which warm waters from the Gulf of Suez sink and flow steadily southwards. Very high r

. The Red Sea is located in an arid tropical zone; it is highly-enclosed, has no permanent riverine inputs, and is the warmest and most saline of the world's seas. The Red Sea is around 2,000 km long and up to 280 km wide, with a mean depth of 500 m and maximum of 2,000 m. It is unique among deep bodies of water in having stable warm temperatures throughout its deeper waters (a near constant 21 °C below about 300m depth). These temperatures are largely maintained through a density-driven water circulation in which warm waters from the Gulf of Suez sink and flow steadily southwards. Very high rates of evaporation (1-2 m per year) and low freshwater input (10 mm per year) lead to a considerable net inflow of water into the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden. Although at depth there is a constant outflow of dense and more saline waters, surface currents are more complex and show a distinct seasonality. Tides are not a major feature in the Red Sea, they show an oscillatory pattern, with central portions being almost tideless and the tides at the northern and southern regions barely reaching 1 m amplitude during spring tides. The Red Sea was formed some 70 million years ago and has been subjected to numerous changes in condition as it broke and re-established links between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, particularly during the recent ice ages, causing considerable changes in sea levels and salinity. The current rich species assemblage is thought to have originated from the Indian Ocean probably only around 10,000 years ago. The surface waters of the Gulf of Aden have lower salinity and generally lower temperatures than those of the Red Sea. Towards the mouth of the Gulf of Aden and around the island of Socotra the pattern of ocean currents is complex, affected by seasonal monsoonal systems from the east and southwest, and, importantly from a cold-water upwelling in the northern Arabian Sea. Coral reefs are perhaps the best known habitat in the region and occur in al

Photographer: The Bookworm Collection
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