Sediment quality at Jebel Ali Harbor, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Munjed A. Maraqa, Ayub Ali, Madduri V. Rao, Waleed Hamza, Hassan D. Imran, Niaz Khan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter presents the results of sediment analysis at Jebel Ali Harbor, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to establish a sediment quality baseline for the ecosystem. Another objective of the study was to set a target for sediment quality that will sustain the health of the aquatic ecosystem for the long term. Sediments in the harbor were collected from different stations over two periods: a screening phase and a monitoring phase. Sediments were analyzed for a spectrum of parameters. Results showed that sediments in the harbor are characterized by a fine texture containing clay and silt different from what is found at a reference location in the Arabian Gulf. It appeared that sulfide, phosphorus, and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) levels are higher in sediments located in the inner and outer basins of the harbor compared with sediments in the main channel. Many metals are at higher levels in harbor sediments than those found in sediments from the reference location and are at higher levels in the inner and outer basins compared with levels found in the main channel. Levels of chromium, copper, and zinc associated with sediments located in the inner and outer basins are of environmental concern. Chromium levels in sediments located in these basins exceed the probable effect level (PEL), indicating a serious threat to aquatic life if such conditions remain. Both copper and zinc exceed the PEL at the corner locations of the inner basin. Lead may represent a potential biological adverse effect for organisms located at the west corner of the inner basin. Neither phenol nor polychlorinated biphenyls appear to be of a concern in the harbor sediments, in contrast to the TPH and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) levels. which were higher compared with the reference station. The level of TPHs and PAHs in sediments located in the inner and outer basins is much higher than what is found in sediments located in the main channel. On the basis of sediment contamination with PAHs, there is a potential risk for biological hazards in the inner and outer basins of the harbor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPollution Assessment for Sustainable Practices in Applied Sciences and Engineering
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780128095829
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Assessment
  • Characterization
  • Jebel ali harbor
  • Physical and chemical contamination
  • Sediment quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science


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