Nile Delta

NASA satellite photograph of the Nile Delta (shown in false color)
The Nile Delta at night as seen from the ISS in October 2010.

The Nile Delta (Arabic: دلتا النيلDelta an-Nīl or simply الدلتا ad-Delta) is the delta formed in Lower Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km (150 mi) of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.[1]


Nile River and Delta

From north to south, the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. From west to east, it covers some 240 km (150 mi) of coastline. The delta is sometimes divided into sections, with the Nile dividing into two main distributaries, the Damietta and the Rosetta,[2] flowing into the Mediterranean at port cities with the same name. In the past, the delta had several distributaries, but these have been lost due to flood control, silting and changing relief. One such defunct distributary is Wadi Tumilat.

The Suez Canal is east of the delta and enters the coastal Lake Manzala in the north-east of the delta. To the north-west are three other coastal lakes or lagoons: Lake Burullus, Lake Idku and Lake Mariout.

The Nile is considered to be an "arcuate" delta (arc-shaped), as it resembles a triangle or flower when seen from above. Some scholars such as Aristotle have written that the delta was constructed for agricultural purposes due to the drying of the region of Egypt. Although such an engineering feat would be considered equivalent to a wonder of the ancient world, there is insufficient evidence to determine conclusively whether the delta is man-made or was formed naturally.[3]

In modern day, the outer edges of the delta are eroding, and some coastal lagoons have seen increasing salinity levels as their connection to the Mediterranean Sea increases. Since the delta no longer receives an annual supply of nutrients and sediments from upstream due to the construction of the Aswan Dam, the soils of the floodplains have become poorer, and large amounts of fertilizers are now used. Topsoil in the delta can be as much as 21 m (70 ft) in depth.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Nyldelta
العربية: دلتا النيل
azərbaycanca: Nil deltası
беларуская: Дэльта Ніла
български: Делта на Нил
bosanski: Delta Nila
català: Delta del Nil
Cebuano: Nile Delta
čeština: Delta Nilu
dansk: Nildeltaet
Deutsch: Nildelta
español: Delta del Nilo
Esperanto: Nildelto
euskara: Niloren delta
فارسی: دلتای نیل
français: Delta du Nil
հայերեն: Նեղոսի դելտա
hrvatski: Delta Nila
Bahasa Indonesia: Delta Nil
íslenska: Nílarósar
italiano: Delta del Nilo
Kiswahili: Delta ya Nile
Latina: Delta Nili
lietuvių: Nilo delta
Limburgs: Nieldelta
Nederlands: Nijldelta
norsk: Nildeltaet
norsk nynorsk: Nildeltaet
polski: Delta Nilu
português: Delta do Nilo
română: Delta Nilului
русский: Дельта Нила
Scots: Nile Delta
Simple English: Nile Delta
slovenčina: Delta Nílu
slovenščina: Delta Nila
српски / srpski: Делта Нила
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Delta Nila
svenska: Nildeltat
Tagalog: Delta ng Nilo
Türkçe: Nil Deltası
українська: Дельта Нілу
Tiếng Việt: Châu thổ sông Nin