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Posts tagged Caspian Sea

Sediments in Southern Caspian Sea

37.9N 50.9E

March 16th, 2013 Category: Lakes, Sediments

Caspian Sea – March 8th, 2013

The Caspian Sea can be considered as having three parts: a northern part, with a mean water depth of only 10 m; a central part, where the water depth increases up to 788 m; and a southern part, wherein the water depth increases up to 1025 m. Climate change may be responsible for a decline in water levels since the 1930s. This image focuses on the southern section, whose southern rim is lined by sediments and where there is a considerable presence of sediments by the southeastern shores.


Global Warming and North Caspian Sea Ice – March 3rd, 2013

46.1N 50.8E

March 3rd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day, Lakes

Caspian Sea – February 28th, 2013

Vivid green and blue sediments and algae peek out from below the ice covering the northern part of the Caspian Sea. Higher winter temperatures, possibly related to changes in global climate observed in recent years, have caused thinner ice coverage. Scientists have demonstrated a downward trend in ice coverage since the 1930s. This has implications for endemic wildfire, for example by restricting the traditional reproduction grounds of the Caspian seal in the shallow waters of the northern Caspian (click here for more information).

Environmental Issues Facing Absheron Peninsula, Azerbaijan

40.4N 49.8E

February 8th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

Caspian Sea – January 24th, 2013

The Absheron Peninsula is a peninsula in Azerbaijan that extends 37 miles (60 km) eastward into the Caspian Sea, and reaches a maximum width of 19 miles (30 km). Though technically the easternmost extension of the Caucasus Mountains, the landscape is only mildly hilly, a gently undulating plain that ends in a long spit of sand dunes known as Shah Dili, and now declared the Absheron National Park. In this part the peninsula is dissected by ravines and characterized by frequent salt lakes.

The peninsula is also host to Baku, the biggest and the most populous city of the country, and also the Baku metropolitan area, with its satellite cities Sumgayit and Khyrdalan. As approx. 40% of the country’s population and 70% of the industrial potential of the country is concentrated in the Absheron peninsula, most of the ecological problems in urgent need of solution exist in this area.

One of the primary problems of the Absheron peninsula is related to the contamination of land, mainly with oil and layer waters during oil-gas extraction and drilling works, formation of artificial lakes and pons due to failure to control layer waters, and accumulation of wastes in these territories formed during oil refining process.

Another ecological problem is connected with the situation of sewage systems, with much being discharged into the Sea and internal water basins without being purified. Along with the waste waters oil products, suspension substances, sulphate compounds, chloride salts, superficially active substances, fenol and different other heavy metals are also discharged into water basins (click here for more information).

Climate Change’s Effects on Caspian Sea – February 6th, 2013

42.0N 50.0E

February 6th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

Caspian Sea – January 25th, 2013

Containing some 18,800 cubic miles of water and covering more than 143,000 square miles, the Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water on Earth. The Caspian is fed by 130 rivers, the most significant being the Volga, which enters from the north and accounts for about 80 percent of the inflowing waters.

A concern about the Caspian Sea is that, like its neighbor the Aral Sea, it may be on a path toward drying out. Dams built by the Soviet Union caused the sea to shrink dramatically in a mere thirty years, and today river water that feeds the Caspian is still being diverted for agriculture and other purposes, or is evaporating from upstream reservoirs.

But other scientists have concluded that the fate of the Caspian hinges not on dams but on climate change. Climate change may alter rainfall and the rate of water evaporation in river watersheds as well as evaporation from the sea itself. A one-foot drop in the Caspian Sea level in the second half of 2010 was attributed to unusually hot spring temperatures.

Higher temperatures during the past few years have also warmed the upper layer of the sea to greater depth, with adverse effects for certain aquatic taxa. The higher temperatures—and, especially in the south, the consumption of grazing zooplankton by M. leidyi—have also led to blooms of phytoplankton (eutrophication) in both the northern and southern parts of the Caspian (click here for images), which cuts oxygen levels needed by other organisms. Promoting eutrophication is the inflow of organic material from rivers and onshore industry and even untreated sewage from settled areas.

In addition, a trend toward warmer winters seems to be reducing the seasonal ice cover that forms in the northern section of the sea—ice cover that is prime breeding habitat for the seals (click here for more information). Such ice can be observed in this image.

Frozen Northern Caspian Sea and Snow in Kazakhstan

42.0N 50.0E

January 18th, 2013 Category: Lakes

Caspian Sea- January 12th, 2013

Fresh snow covers the terrain of Kazakhstan by the Caspian Sea, and the northern part of the sea is covered in ice. Despite the inflow of the Volga River (upper left), the northern portion of the Caspian Sea averages only 17 ft in depth, and responds to the region’s continental climate, which is cold in winter and hot and dry in the summer. The southern part of the Sea is deeper and remains ice-free throughout the winter.