Oceanography is the general name given to the scientific study of the oceans, with an emphasis on their physical, chemical and biological characteristics. It is conveniently divided in terms of basic sciences into: physical oceanography, biological oceanography/marine biology, chemical oceanography and geological oceanography/marine geology
The Gulf of Aqaba is a semi-enclosed water basin attached to the semi-enclosed Red Sea. It is a morph-tectonic trough originated in late Cenozoic times in the Syrian - African rift. As a result, the Gulf does not have a coastal plain or a true shelf and its submarine slopes are extremely steep. The length of the Gulf of Aqaba is about 170 km and the average width is about 15 km only. It is totally surrounded by desert; Sinai from the west and the Jordanian Saudi desert from the east. The Gulf is very deep with a maximum water depth close to that of the Red Sea proper, ~1800 m. The climate is arid with high temperature that reaches a maximum during July-August and a minimum during December-January. The annual range of variation in air temperature is extremely high, about 40 °C and typical of the desert climate, the diurnal range of air temperature is also high, 10-15 °C. Mean annual rainfall is 35 mmyear-1. All rainfall occurs during the period October-May and 61% of the total occurs during December-February. The Gulf receives no river runoff. Dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a and nutrient concentrations of waters of the Gulf of Aqaba are typical oceanic water concentrations. These unique geophysical and chemical characteristics qualify the Gulf of Aqaba to serve as an oceanic model and enable to study oceanic processes in relative convenience at a reasonable cost.