Black Sea

Black Sea

The Black Sea is an inland sea located between southern Europe and the Caucasus. It surrounds the shores of several countries, including Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia.

The Black Sea has long attracted peoples from all over the world, who willingly settled on its shores. But the attitude towards it throughout history has been ambiguous.

It is one of the most peculiar and interesting bodies of water on the globe. But for all its attractiveness, most of it turns out to be lifeless and not useful to humans.

The warmest sea in Russia

The Black Sea is the warmest and most friendly of the seas that wash the territory of Russia. When remembering about it, everyone thinks of azure skies, warm water of blue color, gardens on the coast.

The ancient Greeks gave this sea the name of Pontus Aksinsky, i.e. “Inhospitable Sea”. They were frightened by unknown wild shores with fogs and storms, warlike tribes of Scythians. But in time the Greeks established relations with the Scythians, changed their opinion about the sea and renamed it Pontus Euxine, i.e. “The Hospitable Sea”. However, this renaming did not change the temper of the sea, over which storm winds are often fierce, and the waves rise to a height of 6-8 meters. In addition, from the mountains of the Caucasus and the southern coast of Crimea, the Black Sea does indeed look quite dark even in good weather. It does not freeze even in winter, which is relatively mild and humid in this region. In summer, the proximity of the sea reduces the heat. The water temperature in July is +20-24°C. The Black Sea coast is a zone of subtropical climate. Therefore, the Black Sea shores are turned into health resorts. There are hundreds of resorts where people come to relax and improve their health. Such resort towns as Sochi, Tuapse, Hosta, Gelendzhik, Anapa and others are known not only in Russia, but also abroad. However, Russia is not a monopolist in the tourist business on the Black Sea. Other countries of the region – Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Abkhazia and Georgia – are also actively attracting tourists to their resorts. Compared to other Russian seas, the Black Sea is not rich in fish resources. The most common Mediterranean fish species are mullet, mackerel, mackerel, anchovy, horse mackerel, pike-perch, sea bream and others. Very few passable species – sturgeons, herrings – have survived. This is largely due to the pollution of the sea by sewage.

Who will save the Black Sea

The Black Sea is an inland sea. It occupies a vast flat-bottomed basin more than 2000 meters deep. Its shores are sparsely indented, with few bays and coves and almost no islands. The Black Sea exchanges its waters with two other seas: through the Kerch Strait with the Sea of Azov and through the Bosphorus with the Sea of Marmara. During its existence, the Black Sea has repeatedly changed its boundaries, depth, water chemistry, flora and fauna. It has experienced repeated sinking and rising, and has been connected to the ocean several times and disconnected again. At the bottom of the sea archaeologists find ancient towns and villages buried under the silt. The Black Sea has one unique feature: from a depth of 150-200 meters and to the bottom of its water is saturated with hydrogen sulfide. There is no oxygen in it, so no organisms live here, except hydrogen sulfide bacteria. Generally speaking, hydrogen sulfide in water bodies is not uncommon, but there is no such amount as in the Black Sea anywhere else in the world. Approximately 90% of the total mass of water contains no oxygen and is saturated with hydrogen sulfide, which makes circulation in the sea much more difficult. The period of water exchange in the Black Sea is 1400 years. The salinity of water in the Black Sea is much lower than in the world’s oceans, as fresh water flows into the Black Sea from many rivers: the Danube, Dnieper, Dniester and the full-flowing rivers of the Caucasus. The total flow of fresh water into the Black Sea is 300-350 km3 per year. Alas, together with river water, a large number of pollutants enter the sea. More than 170 million people live in the Black Sea basin, and the sewage of 17 countries drains into the sea. The high population density in this area creates a large anthropogenic load on the Black Sea ecosystem. The main sources of pollution are large industrial cities and ports, as well as ships.

General information

  • Area: 422 thousand km2.
  • Average depth: 1240 m.
  • Maximum depth: 2210 meters.
  • Water volume: 547 thousand km3.
  • Average water salinity: 18%.

Climate and weather

  • Temperate, maritime.
  • Average temperature in January in the Sochi area: -3ºС, July +22-23ºС.
  • In winter, strong northeasterly winds are common, reaching 80 m/s in gusts.

Important features of the Black Sea

  • Geography: The Black Sea is bounded by a northwest-southeast orientation and is connected to the Mediterranean Sea via the Bosphorus and Dardanelles and to the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait.
  • Hydrology: The sea has a unique hydrological structure due to which there is no oxygen in the upper layers of seawater, which limits the possibility of oxygen-demanding organisms living in them. This creates conditions for the development of anoxic processes.
  • Economic importance: The Black Sea is an important transportation route through which sea routes between Europe and Asia pass. The region also has significant oil and gas reserves, and fisheries are developed in its waters.
  • History: The sea has a rich history associated with various cultures and civilizations, including ancient Greek colonies, Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire and others. Most of these cultures have contributed to shaping regional history and culture.
  • Ecology: The Black Sea is facing environmental problems such as pollution due to intensive industrial development and agriculture around its shores. This may affect the biodiversity and ecosystems of the sea.
  • Tourism: The Black Sea region is also popular among tourists due to its beaches, resorts and historical sites.
  • Geopolitics: Apart from the above aspects, the Black Sea plays an important geopolitical and economic role for a number of coastal countries, and its history and cultural heritage have made it a significant region in world history.

Fun facts

  • Back in the 1st millennium BC, long before the Greeks appeared on the eastern and northern shores of the Sea of Azov, there lived Indo-European tribes who called the sea “Tamarun”, i.e. “black”. The Scythians who came in their place did not change the name, simply translating it into their own language.
  • Although the area of the Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas is almost the same, the Black Sea has five times more water in its bowl than the Caspian Sea and almost twenty times more than the Baltic Sea.
  • The sea contains all the chemical elements of our planet. There is even gold. If you evaporate the entire sea, you can extract 100 thousand kilograms of this metal.
  • On the coast of the Black Sea grow cypresses, palm trees, citrus trees, grapes and other subtropical crops.
  • There are 16 official garbage dumping sites on the seabed. 10% of the total pollution of the sea is caused by these dumping sites.
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