Skip to main content
Select Source:

Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea (kăs´pēən), Lat. Mare Caspium or Mare Hyrcanium, salt lake, c.144,000 sq mi (373,000 sq km), between Europe and Asia; the largest lake in the world. It is bordered on the northeast by Kazakhstan, on the southeast by Turkmenistan, on the south by Iran, on the southwest by Azerbaijan, and on the northwest by Russia. The Caspian's surface lies 92 ft (28 m) below sea level. It reaches its maximum depth, c.3,200 ft (980 m), in the south; the shallow northern half averages only about 17 ft (5 m). The Caucasus Mts. rise from the southwestern shore, and the Elburz Mts. parallel the southern coast. The Caspian receives the Volga (which supplies more than 75% of its inflow), Ural, Emba, Kura, and Terek rivers, but has no outlet. The rate of evaporation is particularly high in the eastern inlet called Garabogazkol, which is exploited for salt. Variations in evaporation account for great changes in the size of the sea during the course of history. The damming and diversion of the Volga's water for industrial and residential use have been the leading reasons for the lowering of the Caspian's water level, a problem of serious proportions. The chief ports on the Caspian are Bakı, a major oil center, and Astrakhan, at the mouth of the Volga. Underlying the Caspian are some of the world's largest oil reserves, and the five surrounding countries, all with major stakes in oil-field development, have disputed zones of control, although Russia has signed territorial agreements with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The Caspian also has important fisheries. The northern part of the sea is the chief source of beluga caviar, but the destruction of spawning areas and illegal fishing has greatly reduced the number of sturgeon, and fishing quotas have been imposed. In 2003 a framework treaty for the protection of the sea's environment was signed by four of the surrounding nations; Turkmenistan did not sign.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Caspian Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Caspian Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caspian-sea

"Caspian Sea." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caspian-sea

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea Shallow salt lake, the world's largest inland body of water. The Caspian Sea is enclosed on three sides by Russia, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The s shore forms the n border of Iran. It has been an important trade route for centuries. It is fed mainly by the River Volga; there is no outlet. The chief ports are Baku and Astrakhan. It has important fisheries. Area: c.371,000sq km (143,000sq mi).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Caspian Sea." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Caspian Sea." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caspian-sea

"Caspian Sea." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/caspian-sea

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.