Kuwait's northern marine area is considered to be the receiving basin for the influx of sediments and associated pollutants from the Shatt Al-Arab estuary. In recent years, Iraq has undertaken to drain the southern marshes, which acted as a sink for the sediment and its associated pollutants. The draining process is expected to significantly increase the rate of sedimentation and change the hydrodynamic regime of the northern Arabian Gulf. Thirty-three bottom sediment samples from the area likely to be impacted by the draining of the marshes were collected and studied in 1997-98. Locations of sampling stations were selected as close to an earlier study done in 1982. The recent marine sediments of the study area are subdivided into five textural classes: sandy clay, clay, silt, mud and sandy mud. The comparison of the results of this study with those of the 1982 study showed that finer sediments were deposited. Based on sediment distribution, characteristics of bottom sediments and the topographic nature of the study area, a north-south sediment transport from Shatt Al-Arab and the southern part of Iraq, affecting the marine environment of Kuwait, is inferred. Comparison of water depths of the 1956 and 1986 hydrographic maps, revealed that more deposition occurred in the northern area, and this was attributed to the draining process. In general, there were some indications of the negative impact of the draining of the marshes, however, long-term and more detailed studies are needed.

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