Surface sediments collected from the shoreline area between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), were analysed to determine their textural and compositional characteristics. The relatively heterogeneous sediments of the UAE coastal areas present a broad spectrum of grain sizes and mineralogical compositions, which have potential as discriminates for depositional environments. The trends in textural characteristics of the sampled sediments include (i) a systematic decrease in mean grain size from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, (ii) a systematic increase in the content of evaporite minerals from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and (iii) a relative increase in degree of sediment sorting from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The results also indicate that the sediments of both areas are marine in origin and were delivered to the coastal area during large tidal events. Results of compositional analyses reveal (i) a decrease in abundance of shell fragments from Dubai (>55%) to Abu Dhabi (<9%) and (ii) a complementary increase in percentage of mineral fragments (aragonite, halite, plagioclase, and gypsum, except calcite) in Abu Dhabi sediments compared with Dubai sediments. Geochemically, the coastal sediments from Abu Dhabi have higher concentrations of major and trace elements, except for Pb, than sediments from Dubai. The reported results set the background information of the studied sediments, and could be useful for ongoing development activities.
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Vol. 24 • No. sp2