The Caspian Sea is known to be the largest land enclosed body of water on Earth. Depending on where you go and whom you talk to, the Caspian Sea is known as the world's largest lake or the world's largest sea. The Caspian Sea covers an expanse 143, 244 square miles and has an impressive volume of 18,761 cubic miles.
Caspian Sea the World's Largest Lake
The Caspian Sea is unique because it has no streams that flow out from it, so the Caspian Sea is known as an endorheic body of water. The deepest portion of the Caspian Sea that has been measured was more than 3,363 feet deep. While the water of the Caspian Sea is salty, it has a salinity of just 1.2%, which is only about a third of most seawater. Those that first discovered the Caspian Sea thought the Caspian Sea was actually a sea because of the salinity.
Caspian Sea Origin of the Name
The Caspian Sea was named after the Caspians and the Caspian Sea is now known to be what is left of the Tethys Ocean, as is the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The Caspian Sea became landlocked due to the drifting of continents about 5.5 million years ago. Today the Caspian Sea is located on the coasts of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is known to be the largest body of water in this region of the world, accounting for as much as 44% of the lacustrine waters of the world.
Caspian Sea by Section
The Caspian Sea is divided into three distinct sections which s the Northern Caspian Sea, the Middle Caspian Sea, and the Southern Caspian Sea. The Northern Caspian Sea is actually the Caspian shelf, and is known to be one of the shallowest areas of the Caspian Sea, holding less than one percent of the total volume of the Caspian Sea, with just five to six meters in depth on average. The Middle Caspian Sea is where the waters start getting noticeably deeper, as deep as 190 meters and the Southern Caspian Sea is where the water is the deepest with depths of over 1,000 meters. It is the Middle and Southern Caspian Sea that account for most of the volume in the Caspian Sea.
Caspian Sea inflow Rivers
While there is not outflow from the Caspian Sea there are more than 130 inflow rivers, with the Volga River being the biggest. The Caspian Sea is home to a few small islands, with most of them being located in the Northern Caspian Sea with all of the Caspian Sea islands having an overall land area of 2,000 square kilometers.
Caspian Sea Neighbors
Neighboring the Northern Caspian Sea is the Caspian Depression, which is a very low-lying region that is 27 meters below sea level. In addition, there is the Central Asian steppes that run along the northeast coast of the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus mountains are along the western shore of the Caspian Sea. The lands and the temperatures in these regions vary widely with low planes and mountainous regions, and therefore there is a large diversity of living things in and around the Caspian Sea.