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The Black Sea is an Atlantic Ocean outlying sea. It is situated halfway between Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Due to their propensity to refer to the South as “white” and the North as “black,” the Anatolian Turks are largely credited for coining the term “Black Sea.” But the name originally appeared in a Hungarian document, and then it turned up in sources from much further north, like the Icelandic sagas and other Nordic tales.
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Black Sea Bordering Countries
Bordering Countries of the Black Sea are Turkey (Türkiye) to the south, Ukraine to the north, Russia to the northeast, Georgia to the east, and Bulgaria and Romania to the west.
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Black Sea Geography
Through the Turkish Straits and the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea eventually empties into the Mediterranean Sea. It is connected to the tiny Sea of Marmara by the Bosporus Strait, which is itself connected to the Aegean Sea by the Strait of the Dardanelles. The Kerch Strait connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov in the north. Black Sea salinity is extremely low as a result of massive freshwater inflow from rivers.
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Black Sea Map
The Black Sea is bordered by six nations: Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey (Türkiye), Bulgaria, and Romania. With a surface area of 436,400 km², the Black Sea (excluding the Sea of Azov) is somewhat larger than Germany or the US state of California.
Black Sea as a Meromictic Basin
The largest body of water in the world with a meromictic basin is the Black Sea. The water layers in a meromictic lake do not combine. The higher layers of water, which acquire oxygen from the atmosphere, do not mix with the deep seas. As a result, anoxic water makes up over 90% of the deeper Black Sea volume. Areas of seawater, freshwater, or groundwater that lack dissolved oxygen are referred to as anoxic waters. Therefore, the anoxic layer is to blame for the preservation of historic shipwrecks discovered in the Black Sea.
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Black Sea Physical Features
Except for the northern and western sides, which are low and deeply indented by numerous ravines, valleys, and rivers, many of whose mouths are sometimes blocked by sand spits, the Black Sea’s shoreline is only mildly indented. The only places with steep cliffs are in the mountains of southern Crimea. The shores are rugged and mountainous in the east and south. The Black Sea is confined to the east by spurs of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges, while the Pontic Mountains stretch along the southern coast.
The coastal relief is mild but relatively steep near the Bosporus exit. Low mountains start to appear further north, in the Burgaski Bay region, where the Bulgarian Balkan Mountains stretch eastward. A flatter plateau area gives way to the massive Danube River delta, which thrusts its mass into the water, as one travels farther north along the western side. The largest islands in the Black Sea are Zmiyinyy (Fidonisi) in Ukraine, east of the Danube delta, and Berezan, at the mouth of the Dniester River estuary.
There are very few minor islands in the Black Sea. One way to think of the undersea relief is as a collection of concentric and occasionally asymmetrical rings. A shallow shelf zone that extends from the beach takes up about one-fourth of the overall area.
The edge is typically less than 360 feet deep and is widest in the west and at the head of Kerch Strait. Elsewhere, it forms a rim that is about 6 to 7 miles (10 to 11 km) wide (110 metres). The shelf gives way to a slope that is steeper in its upper portions and is broken up by submarine valleys at its edge. A rough chain of underwater mountains runs parallel to the coastline for almost 100 miles between the Turkish coastal cities of Sinop and Samsun (160 km).
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Black Sea Climate
The landlocked Black Sea’s climate can be categorised as continental (i.e., subject to noticeable seasonal temperature changes), while the climate in some areas of the basin is significantly influenced by coastal relief. In the region of the basin that is exposed to the impact of air masses from the north, there is a Steppe Climate with chilly winters and hot, dry summers. A humid subtropical climate with lots of Precipitation, warm winters, and humid summers characterises the southeast corner of the sea, which is protected by high mountains.
The northwest Black Sea cools significantly during the winter, and ice is frequently formed due to spurs of the Siberian anticyclones, a clean, dry, high-pressure air mass. Strong northeasterly winds, a sharp drop in temperature, and frequent precipitation characterise the wintertime invasion of polar continental air, which lasts for an average of 185 days every year. After crossing over the milder eastern regions of the sea, the air becomes warm and moist. Tropical air from the Mediterranean regions is always warm and humid (affected on 87 days on average). Winds from the Atlantic occasionally travel through eastern Europe and bring rain and violent squalls.
The sea’s core region experiences an average January air temperature of about 46 °F (8 °C), which drops to between 36 and 37 °F (2 and 3 °C) to the west. The average springtime air temperature is about 61 °F (16 °C), and the average summertime temperature is about 75 °F (24 °C). Maximum temperatures are found in Crimea, occasionally reaching 99 °F (37 °C) in summer, while minimum temperatures are found in the northwest, nearing 22 °F (30 °C) during the winter cold spells. Winter brings the fiercest winds of the year, with hurricane-force north easterlies hitting Novorossiysk (Novorossiyskaya), a Russian coastal region, immediately to the east of the Kerch Strait, and gale-force winds on the sea itself.
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Black Sea Economic Significance
The Black Sea serves as a vital year-round transit route connecting eastern European nations with the global economy. Most of the sea’s freight traffic passes via the historic Ukrainian city of Odessa and the nearby port of Illichivsk. Petroleum is a speciality of the ports of Novorossiysk and, to a lesser extent, Tuapse (both in Russia) and Batumi (Georgia), which are located further east. The two main ports in Bulgaria are Varna and Burgas. Oil-producing regions are linked to international markets by Constanța, located in Romania. Turkey’s primary port is Istanbul on the Sea of Marmara, while the Danube serves as a vital commerce route for the Balkan nations.
The Black Sea’s biological resource that is used the most is fish. Soviet authorities banned dolphin fishing in 1966. Other conservation and anti-pollution initiatives include limitations on oil tankers and the disposal of industrial trash. The Bucharest Convention, also known as the Bucharest Convention, was a comprehensive agreement to execute a number of extra programmes to manage pollution, preserve fisheries, and protect marine life. It was signed by the six Black Sea countries in the 1990s.
Finally, the Black Sea region has become a significant destination for recreation and healing because of its spectacular environment and mineral springs, with Crimea being the most significant location.
A growing number of tourists are drawn to the sandy beaches in Bulgaria and Romania.
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Black Sea UPSC
Black Sea serves as Eastern Europe’s entry point to the Mediterranean and to international shipping lanes. It connects Europe to the Middle East and the Caucasus. The area serves as a major hub for the global energy economy because of its hydrocarbon resources and transit system.
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