IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Assessing sediments export from the Nile to the Suez Canal and the associated risk to global shipping

Emmanuel Hanert1,2, Riana Randresihaja1,3, Oula Amrouni6, Abderraouf Hzami6, Sara S. Fouad7,8, and Essam Heggy4,5
Emmanuel Hanert et al.
  • 1Earth and Life Institute, UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (emmanuel.hanert@uclouvain.be)
  • 2Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering, UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (emmanuel.hanert@uclouvain.be)
  • 3MAST, FOCUS, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium (ny.randresihaja@uclouvain.be)
  • 4Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA (heggy@usc.edu)
  • 5Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA (heggy@usc.edu)
  • 6INSTM, Laboratory of Marine Environment, University of Carthage, Salammbô, Tunisia (oulaamrouni@gmail.com)
  • 7School of Engineering and Life Science, Landscape Architecture, Technical University of Munich, Freising, Germany (sarasamymoh@gmail.com)
  • 8Faculty of Engineering, Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport, Port Said, Egypt (sarasamymoh@gmail.com)

The Suez Canal is a major bottleneck of global shipping. The stranding of the Ever Given, one of the world's largest container ships, in early 2021 showed how much global supply chains depend on the Suez Canal. The canal navigability directly depends on the incoming fluxes of sediments, either through the entrance on the Mediterranean Sea or from smaller tributaries along the canal. Here we model the hydrodynamics of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea, Suez canal and northern Gulf of Suez with the multi-scale ocean model SLIM (www.slim-ocean.be). The model can locally achieve a resolution of about 50 m and hence explicitly describes the flow through the narrow branches of the canal. The hydrodynamic model is then used to drive a sediment transport model that represents the dynamics of several types of sediments originating from the Nile delta, from shorelines along the Mediterranean Sea, and from inland channels connecting the Nile to the Suez Canal. Model results allow us to estimate the sediment deposition rate within the canal under present and future climate, and for different land and river management scenarios. The latter include the impact of existing and future dams along the Nile River and irrigation practices within the Nile Delta. Our result suggest that the Nile River management directly impacts the Suez canal navigability. This interconnection between the Nile River and the Suez Canal calls for an integrative management strategy. 

How to cite: Hanert, E., Randresihaja, R., Amrouni, O., Hzami, A., S. Fouad, S., and Heggy, E.: Assessing sediments export from the Nile to the Suez Canal and the associated risk to global shipping, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-227, https://doi.org/10.5194/iahs2022-227, 2022.