A GIS-based Spatiotemporal Study of the Variability of Water Quality Parameters in the Dubai Creek

Tarig A Ali, Maruf Mortula, Serter Atabay, Ehsan Navadeh


High concentrations of nutrients canincrease algal growth in coastal marine systems. The growth of harmful algal blooms (HAB’s) has become common in UAE, especially in late 2008 and early 2009 when a huge HAB event devastated the coasts of the whole country and a significant portion of Arabian Gulf. Nutrient enrichment in Dubai coast has been one of the primary environmental concerns for eutrophication. Increased algal growth normally leads to oxygen depletion by bacteria to decompose the dead algal cells in the bottom leading to low-oxygen water. Such situation normally leads to the killing of different types of fish; lowering the biotic diversity. Dubai Creek, a saltwater lake connected to the coast of Dubai has similar characteristics as the coast and suffers from similar water quality concerns. The paper presents the outcomes of a comprehensive study of the spatiotemporal variability of major water quality parameters in the creek. In-situ water quality data from 10 monitoring stations along the Dubai creek have been used in the study. The results showed unique trends of spatiotemporal variability of chlorophyll-a and nutrients over the creek in the period of study. This result was attributed to the increasing anthropogenic activity in Dubai due to the rapid urban development, shallow water depth in the creek, poor flushing and irregular circulations and wave patterns in the area.

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