Article 84


The Suez Canal is divided into three main sectors according to the nature of tide in each

the Characteristics of each can be summarized as follows:



The Suez Canal is divided into three main sectors according the nature of tide in each.

A - The northern sector is located between Port Said and the Great Bitter Lake:

(1) The height of tide at Port Said co-oscillated with the tide of the Mediterranean Sea with 0.50 meter extreme tidal range (Difference between highest and lowest levels) at Spring tides. This tidal range decreases gradually going South, to be about 0.20 meter at the entrance of Lake Timsah.

(2) In this sector, the peak tidal current may reach 1.0 knot (in case of no wind).

(3) Current may be doubled by strong prevailing winds.

(4) Peak currents occur about 50 minutes after predicted High Water and Low Water at Port Said.

(5) The duration and velocity of current in this sector are greatly affected by the relative mean sea levels between the Mediterranean Sea, the Bitter Lakes and the Red Sea as follows:

(a) IN SUMMER: between July and October, the mean sea level at Port Said is slightly higher than that of the Bitter Lakes. This difference (which reaches its maximum of about 0.20 meter in September), beside the great evaporation at the Bitter Lakes, causes the predominance of the Southward current in duration and velocity.

(b) IN WINTER: between December and May, the Mean sea level at the Bitter Lakes is slightly higher than that of Port Said. This difference which reaches its Maximum of about 0.30 meter in January, causes the predominance of the Northward current in duration and velocity.



(1) The Lakes along the Canal have an important role in dampening the effects of sudden meteorological changes.

(2) The Bitter Lakes with a surface of about 250 Kmē reduce the vertical movement of the tide to a minimum between Km. 100 and Km. 130.

(3) The high spring tide range (MHWS) in Great Bitter Lake may reach 0.25 meter.

(4) The phase of the vertical tide in Great Bitter Lake is about 3 hours later than that of Port Tewfik.

(5) The vertical tide in Lake TIMSAH is almost in phase with the tide in Great Bitter Lake



This part is located between Port of Suez and Bitter Lakes:

(1) The height of tide in Suez co-oscillated with the tides of the Red Sea with extreme tidal range of about 1.90 meters at Spring tides. This range decreases gradually going North till the Bitter Lakes entrance to be 0.15 meter at Geneva.

(2) The tidal volume of the Bitter Lakes is very large compared to the tidal volume of the Southern section. Consequently, the currents are relatively strong and almost uniform between Port Tewfik and Geneva.

(3) In this region, the Northward current is called Flood and the Southward current is called Ebb.

(4) Peak currents occur about 50 minutes after predicated High Water and Low Water at Port Tewfik.

(5) At the entrance of the Canal, Km. 159, the Flood tide starts at an average of 3 hours after the Low Water at Suez. The Ebb tide 3 hours after High Water in Suez.

(6) Generally in Summer, the duration of the Ebb exceeds the average of 6 hours. In Winter, the Flood is the predominant. The Ebb is prolonged by "Strong Northerly Winds". The Flood is prolonged by "Strong Southerly Winds".

(7) In this region, the average peak current is about 1.5 knots. In Spring tides, current may reach 2.5 knots.

(8) The change of current occurs 5 to 10 minutes later on the bottom of the Canal, than on its surface.



In the canal, there are current buoys indicating the direction of the current:


Red & White horizontal bands or 1 reflector at night.


Black & White vertical stripes or 2 reflectors at night


The current buoys are laid in the following positions:

- EL RASWA [KM. 3.710 E].

- PORT FOUAD [KM. 2.750 E].

- RAS EL ECH EAST [KM. 12.800 E].

- RAS EL ECH WEST [KM. 14.304 E].

- TINEH [KM. 24.775 E].

- CAP [KM. 35.420 E].

- KANTARA [KM. 45.130 E].

- BALLAH EAST & WEST [KM. 54.770 E].

- FERDAN [KM. 64.894 E].

- ISMAILIA [KM. 76.127 E].

- TOUSSOUM [KM. 86.780 E].


- KABRIT EAST & WEST [KM. 120.827 E].

- GENEVA [KM. 133.950 E].

- CHALOUFA [KM. 146.125 E].

- PORT TEWFIK [KM. 160.300 E].