Caspian Sea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea from orbit.jpg
As captured by the MODIS on the orbiting Terra satellite
Coordinates 41°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
Type Endorheic, Saline, Permanent, Natural
Primary inflows Volga River, Ural River, Kura River, Terek River
Primary outflows Evaporation
Catchment area 3,626,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi)[1]
Basin countries Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan
Max. length 1,030 km (640 mi)
Max. width 435 km (270 mi)
Surface area 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi)
Average depth 187 m (610 ft)
Max. depth 1,025 m (3,360 ft)
Water volume 69,400 km3 (16,600 cu mi)
Residence time 250 years
Shore length1 7,000 km (4,300 mi)
Surface elevation −28 m (−92 ft)
Islands 26+
Settlements Baku (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]