When the mighty Volga River enters the Caspian Sea, its journey ends. The Caspian has no outlet. It’s the largest body of water with that characteristic on Earth. The Caspian itself is 750 miles (1,208 km) long from north to south, an average 200 miles (320 km) wide, and has an area of 149,200 square miles (386,400 sq km). It has an average depth of 692 feet (211 m) and a maximum depth of 3,363 feet (1,025 m). Surprisingly it’s a little salty, though with less than half of the ocean’s salinity. The shallow northern portion of the sea usually turns to ice in the winter; sometimes, the southern portion does as well.
About 360 miles (580 km) west of the Caspian lies the Black Sea. The Don, Dnieper, Dniester, and Danube rivers all empty into it. From west to east, the sea is about 730 miles (1,175 km) long. From Odessa south to the coast of Anatolia, it is 370 miles (596 km) wide; from Sevastopol (on the Crimean Peninsula) to Anatolia, 180 miles (290 km) wide. Its total area, including the Sea of Azov, is 178,000 square miles (461,000 sq km), making it 20% larger than the Caspian Sea. It has an average depth of 4,265 feet (1,300 m) and a maximum depth of 7,257 feet (2,212 m). Strangely enough, freshwater from the Black Sea flows into the Aegean Sea at the same time heavier saltwater from the Aegean flows beneath it into the Black Sea.
Crimea is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea. From west to east, it is 200 miles (320 km) long and, north to south, 123 miles (198 km) wide. It covers an area of 10,425 square miles (27,000 sq km). The highest point is Mount Roman-Kosh at 5,069 feet (1,545 m). Sevastopol, with a population over 500,000, is the peninsula’s largest city. During the Crimean War, 26-year-old Leo Tolstoy fought to defend the city (1854-5) as an artillery officer. Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin met near the city of Yalta, at the former summer palace of Tzar Nicholas 2nd, in February 1945, to plan the course of the postwar world.
The Black Sea is connected to the Aegean Sea by the Turkish Strait. The Aegean Sea is the name given to that portion of the Mediterranean Sea lying between Hellas and Anatolia and north of Crete. Just for comparison, the Aegean from north to south is about 390 miles (628 km) long and from Athens to Izmir is about 190 miles (306 km) wide. It covers an area of roughly 83,000 square miles (215,000 sq km). It has a maximum depth of 8,658 feet (2,639 m).
It is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the largest freshwater lake in the world. For comparison, from west to east it is 350 miles (560 km) long, 160 miles (260 km) wide, covers 31,700 square miles (82,000 sq km), and has an average depth of 483 feet (147 m) and a maximum of 1,333 feet (406 m).
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.