The history of the Farasan Archipelago

Geologically, there are a number of hypotheses proposed on the history of the Farasan Islands  (Alwelaie et al., 1993, Dabbagh et al., 1984). Modern satellite imagery shows all of the islands are Pleistocene uplifted coral reefs that lie on the salt domes of the Miocene. It supports Dabbagh et al. (1984) and Baily et al. (2007) opinions, which argue there is no history of connection between the Farasan Islands and the mainland (Dabbagh et al., 1984, Bailey et al., 2007a). The Farasan Archipelago has significant ecological interest because it is included in one of the main routes for bird migration and comprises a characteristic assemblage (El Demerdash, 1996), and it consequently registered as an important Bird area (Evans, 1994). The landscape of these islands comprises a wide range of habitats, such as wet and dry salt marshes, mangroves, rocky habitats, sand dunes, sand plains and wadi channels that have resulted in rich biological diversity and led to a natural variation in the island flora in the Farasan Archipelago (Mutairi et al., 2012). Not only the habitat, but also the soil moisture, salinity, organic carbon and silt are related with the vegetation distribution patterns (El‐Demerdash, 1996). The large islands in the archipelago such as Farasan Alkabir retain higher diversity than an equivalent area of several smaller islands. This island also includes rare species and rare habitats such as coral rocks. 

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith