Name / Description

Black Sea





Size (sq. miles)


Part of / Flows into

NE Mediterranean Sea


Russia, Turkey, Balkans

Additional Notes

inland sea (area: c.159,600 sq mi/413,360 sq km), bet. Europe and Asia, connected with the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles; c.750 mi/1,210 km long, 75 mi/121 km�350 mi/563 km wide, max. depth 7,364 ft/2,245 m. Enclosed N by Ukraine, NE by Russia, E by Georgia, S by Turkey, and W by Bulgaria and Romania. The largest arm of the Black Sea is the Sea of Azov, which joins it through the Kerch Strait. Once part of a large body of water that included the Caspian and Aral seas. In the Tertiary period, it was separated from the Caspian and was linked to the Mediterranean. The Dnieper, Southern Buh, Dniester, and Danube rivers are its principal feeders; the Don and Kuban rivers flow into the Sea of Azov. The rivers flowing into the N part of the Black Sea carry much silt and form deltas, sandbars, and lagoons along the generally low and sandy N coast. The S coast is steep and rocky. Has 2 layers of water of different densities: the heavily saline bottom layer has little movement, contains hydrogen sulfide, and has no marine life; the top layer has low salinity, flows in a counterclockwise direction around the sea, and has many varieties of fish. There is little tidal action. Pollution here has spurred surrounding nations to cooperate on instituting environmental safeguards. The Black Sea is subject to severe winter storms, and waterspouts are common in summer. An important navigation route; remains ice-free in winter. It was the chief sea outlet of the USSR; Odessa and Sevastopol (Ukraine) and Novorossiysk (Russia) are still major ports.