There are no previously published granulometric studies of the sediments from the coastal areas of the UAE. In this study one hundred and forty-four beach sediment samples were collected from coastal districts of seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah) for the purposes of grain size analysis and province delineation. A range of grain size data analysis methods, such as bivariate scatter plots and discrimination functions, were employed in the interpretation of the environments and mechanisms of sediment deposition. Multivariate statistical analysis was also used to discriminate between different coastal zones.
The Arabian Gulf coast can be divided into the following three provinces: a) Abu Dhabi/Dubai province, b) Sharjah/Ajman/Umm Al-Quwain province and c) Ras Al-Khaimah province. The Gulf of Oman coast can be divided into the following four provinces: a) Rol Diba Province, b) Dadnah/Aqqa province, c) Khor Fakkan province and d) Fujairah province. The results from this study suggest that the variations between different sites may be due to either the diversity of the sources of the sediments, or to the geomorphology of the coastal area. The second factor has controlled the details of transport of sediments along the coastal areas. Another important variable is the geology of the coastal strip that affects the types and distributions of coastal sediments.