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Caspian Sea

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Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea - As captured by the MODIS on the orbiting Terra satellite
As captured by the MODIS on the orbiting Terra satellite
Coordinates 41°40′N 50°40′E / 41.667°N 50.667°E / 41.667; 50.667Coordinates: 41°40′N 50°40′E / 41.667°N 50.667°E / 41.667; 50.667
Lake type Endorheic, Saline, Permanent, Natural
Primary  inflows Volga River, Ural River, Kura River, Terek River
Primary  outflows Evaporation
Catchment  area 3,626,000 km2 (1,400,000 sq mi)[1]
Basin  countries Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan
Max. length 1,030 km (640 mi)
Max. width 435 km (270 mi)
Surface area 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi)
Average depth 187 m (610 ft)
Max. depth 1,025 m (3,360 ft)
Water volume 69,400 km3 (16,600 cu mi)
Residence time 250 years
Shore  length1 7,000 km (4,300 mi)
Surface  elevation −28 m (−92 ft)
Islands 26+
Settlements Baku (Azerbaijan), Rasht (Iran), Aktau (Kazakhstan), Makhachkala (Russia), Türkmenbaşy (Turkmenistan)
References [1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

The Caspian Sea is the largest lake on Earth by both area and volume. It has a surface area of 371,000 square kilometres (143,000 square miles). Its volume is 78,200 cubic kilometres (18,800 cubic miles). The Caspian has for 40 to 44% of the total lake waters of the world.[2]

The Caspian sea is an endorheic body of water. It is bordered by Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. It has a maximum depth of about 1,025 metres (3,363 ft). It is called a sea because when the Romans first arrived there, they tasted the water and found it to be salty. It has a salinity of approximately 1.2%, about a third the salinity of sea water.


  1. 1.0 1.1 van der Leeden, Troise, and Todd, eds. 1990. The Water Encyclopedia. 2nd ed, Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers, p196
  2. "Caspian Sea". Iran Gazette. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 

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