The XXXII.-3 Euphrates and Tigris have within historical times silted up their mouths to an extent that has materially altered the coast-line of the Gulf and these rivers seem destined in the future to unite El Hasa to Fao, just as in the past they produced the fertile plains of Mesopotamia.
Red ochre, for which there is only a limited market, is mined on Ormuz, Abu Musa and other islands in the Gulf; salt, as deposits, on Ormuz and Qishm I., and by evaporation, near Mohammerah, Fao and elsewhere on both sides of the Gulf; gypsum is widely distributed throughout the Gulf; iron, as haematite and pyrites, widely found through the Ormuz series.
In 1857, after some unfruitful preliminary attempts, the Turkish Government agreed to the construction of a line from Scutari to Bagdad on their behalf; this was finished in 1861 and was extended to Fao by 1864, after further lengthy negotiations, when it was linked up with the cable from Karachi which had been laid meanwhile.
There is a lightship in the Shatt al 'Arab bar, which is very completely buoyed and lighted throughout its length from the lightship to Fao, where there is a fixed light.
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