Caspian Sea

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Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea from orbit.jpg
As captured by the MODIS on the orbiting Terra satellite
Coordinates41°40′N 50°40′E / 41.667°N 50.667°E / 41.667; 50.667Coordinates: 41°40′N 50°40′E / 41.667°N 50.667°E / 41.667; 50.667
TypeEndorheic, Saline, Permanent, Natural
Primary inflowsVolga River, Ural River, Kura River, Terek River
Primary outflowsEvaporation
Catchment area3,626,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi)[1]
Basin countriesAzerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan
Max. length1,030 km (640 mi)
Max. width435 km (270 mi)
Surface area371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi)
Average depth187 m (610 ft)
Max. depth1,025 m (3,360 ft)
Water volume69,400 km3 (16,600 cu mi)
Residence time250 years
Shore length17,000 km (4,300 mi)
Surface elevation−28 m (−92 ft)
Islands26+
SettlementsBaku (Azerbaijan), Rasht (Iran), Aktau (Kazakhstan), Makhachkala (Russia), Türkmenbaşy (Turkmenistan)
References[1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.


The Caspian Sea is the largest lake on Earth by both area and volume. It has a surface area of 371,000 square kilometres (143,000 square miles). Its volume is 78,200 cubic kilometres (18,800 cubic miles). The Caspian has for 40 to 44% of the total lake waters of the world.[2]

The Caspian sea is an endorheic body of water. It is bordered by Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. It has a maximum depth of about 1,025 metres (3,363 ft). It is called a sea because when the Romans first arrived there, they tasted the water and found it to be salty. It has a salinity of approximately 1.2%, about a third the salinity of sea water.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 van der Leeden, Troise, and Todd, eds. 1990. The Water Encyclopedia. 2nd ed, Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers, p196
  2. "Caspian Sea". Iran Gazette. Retrieved 2010-05-17.

Other websites[change | change source]