Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor


Second Advisor

Galal Oweiss


The present project deals with the study of coastal sediments along the Eastern Coast of United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), and it has two main objectives:

  • Determination of heavy mineral contents of the coastal sediments in relation to the geology of the hinterlands.
  • Trace metals studies (Zn, Pb, Ni, Cr, Cu, Co, Cd, Mn and organic carbon) as a measure of environmental pollution.

The results of heavy minerals separation (fine sand fraction) from the Eastern Coast sediments reflect that these sediments are generally rich in heavy minerals content with percentages reaching up to 78% with some areas reaching upto 98%. The opaque minerals are mainly represented by ilmenite, chromite, and magnetite, where the gabbroic and ultramafic rocks are the main rocks exposed within the drainage basins. Three areas with high concentrations of heavy minerals are delineated. These areas are located at the mouth of the main wadies (Wadi Ham, Wadi Thayb, and Wadi Ash Shamah), and to the north of the main headlands at the shoreline maximum curvature (inflection points).

The concentration of trace metals were determined in the fine sand fraction of the coastal sediments. The samples were collected in October 1992, and after March 1994 oil spill.

The levels (µg/g) dry weight) of cadmium (9.01 times), cobalt (193.23 times), chromium (38.87 times), copper (4.7 times), MN (272.8 times), Ni (322.7 times), Pb (6.7 times) and Zn (5.6 times) where higher than their levels prior to the oil spill occurrence. The increase in the levels of some trace metals could be explained in terms of heavy navigation traffic in the area.

Comparing the data obtained here after three months from the spill time to other published data in sediments collected from Saudi Arabia; one year after the Gulf war oil spill one can safely conclude that the environmental impacts of the spitted oil on the east coast had minor effects in terms of trace metals levels and organic materials and the marine environment of UAE is returning back to its normal condition.