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The inlet of the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol before and after the construction of the dam (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea) The inlet of the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol before and after the construction of the dam (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea)
Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. In Soviet times it was decided to set up a dam to block the flow of saline water from the bay to the Caspian Sea, and this was completed in 1980. The ensuing increase in the salt content of the southern part of the Caspian had biological consequences. In the spring of 1992, in view of the scale of the disaster, Turkmenistan, which...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Annual flow of water to the Caspian Sea Annual flow of water to the Caspian Sea
Most of the water flowing into the sea comes from coastal rivers – currently supplying 300 to 310 cubic km a year. The Volga alone accounts for 80% of inflow. But it has dropped substantially during the 20th century, declining from about 400 cubic km in the 1920-30s to between 260 cubic km and 270 cubic km at present, due to various climatic factors and human activities such as dams built for hydroelectric energy production.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, for the Caspian Sea region countries Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, for the Caspian Sea region countries
Purchasing power parity (PPP) measures how much a currency can buy in terms of an international benchmark (usually dollars), since the cost of goods and services differs between countries. PPP is below the value of a US dollar in countries where the general price index is lower than in the US (as is the case for all five Caspian states -Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, to varying extents), and above it where the prices are h...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Caspian Sea drainage basin The Caspian Sea drainage basin
The Caspian Sea runs north and south, extending over 1,200 km, with an average width of 320 km. It covers approximately 400,000 sq km (an area slightly larger than Germany). The population of the region is about 14 million, distributed over the coastal provinces of five countries: 6.5 million in Iran, 3.9 million in Russia, 2.2 million in Azerbaijan, 0.8 million in Kazakhstan and 0.4 million in Turkmenistan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Total sturgeon catch in the Caspian Sea, 1932-2000 Total sturgeon catch in the Caspian Sea, 1932-2000
Pressure from the international community having raised awareness of its value as a bio-resource, the region is now struggling to save the sturgeon. To protect the vulnerable fish species more then 100 million sturgeon and bony fish juveniles have been released into the Caspian Sea in recent years.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea Mean sea surface temperature on the Caspian Sea
Recent research by the Caspian Environment Programme estimates the number of living seals to be as low as 150,000. A further reduction in ice cover due to a warming climate could well be one of the major threats facing the Caspian seal in the future.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Caspian Sea coastlines vulnerable to flooding The Caspian Sea coastlines vulnerable to flooding
Most of the water flowing into the sea comes from coastal rivers. The quantity and quality of this water, particularly that of the Volga, are key variables in the balance of the Caspian Sea. To this must be added rainfall over the sea itself. With the natural variability of the water, there are some key areas vulnerable to flooding due to changes in sea level.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Discharge of pollutants in the Caspian Sea - mercury and cadmium Discharge of pollutants in the Caspian Sea - mercury and cadmium
Mercury and Cadmium are classified as toxic metals, and are persistant pollutants in the environment, that stays in the system and is accumulated through the food chains. The main release of these pollutants are on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, off the coast of Russia and Azerbaijan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Toxic metals in sediments of the Caspian Sea (Arsenic, Mercury and Copper) Toxic metals in sediments of the Caspian Sea (Arsenic, Mercury and Copper)
Sampled sediments in the Caspian Sea show that arsenic is spread out at multiple locations, but primarily on the southern and southwest shores of the Sea, on the shores of Iran and Azerbaijan - where also Copper is accumulated in the sediments. Mercury is concentrated on the Apsheron peninsula of Azerbaijan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Comb-jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) spreading through the Caspian Sea (invasive species) Comb-jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) spreading through the Caspian Sea (invasive species)
The comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) is well adapted to the habitat (salinity, temperature, and food range) and reproduces faster than endemic species. As it eats the same food as them, it has had a drastic effect on their numbers, upsetting the entire food chain. The jelly is an invasive species, brought from North America by ships.
04 Oct 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Kara-Bogaz-Gol - restoration of previous water levels after 1992 (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea) Kara-Bogaz-Gol - restoration of previous water levels after 1992 (Turkmenistan, Caspian Sea)
Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. In Soviet times it was decided to set up a dam to block the flow of saline water from the bay to the Caspian Sea, and this was completed in 1980. The ensuing increase in the salt content of the southern part of the Caspian Sea, to levels exceeding 15 grams per litre, had disastrous consequences for the sturgeon population. In the ...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Kara-Bogaz-Gol - water level variation over time Kara-Bogaz-Gol - water level variation over time
Comparing a series of satellite images from different periods a Californian hydrologist discovered in 1983 that a huge white spot had taken the place of the vast Kara-Bogaz- Gol (literally “dark gullet” in Turkmen) in the south-east corner of the Caspian. Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan.
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Oil production and forecasts - Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Oil production and forecasts - Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan
For the Caspian Sea countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, the extraction of oil represents a significant resource, and the production has been increasing since independence. Numbers should however be treated with caution, estimates changing frequently as new exploration work is carried out. The most recent forecasts for Azerbaijan have been more moderate, whereas new exploitation work will soon be starting in Kazakhstan.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ice cover on the North Caspian Sea Ice cover on the North Caspian Sea
Higher winter temperatures, possibly related to changes in global climate observed in recent years, have caused thinner ice coverage and restricted the traditional reproduction grounds of the Caspian seal in the shallow waters of the northern Caspian.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caviar imports to Japan, European Union and United States Caviar imports to Japan, European Union and United States
The Caspian area is the world’s main producer of wild caviar (83% in 2003) and supplies the three largest markets, the European Union, Japan and the USA. The construction of several hydroelectric power plants and dams along the Volga river significantly altered the flow of water into the delta and destroyed about 90% of the sturgeon’s spawning grounds, which can be as far as several hundreds of kilometres upstream. This graphic displays the repor...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Caspian sea climate, mean annual temperature and precipitation Caspian sea climate, mean annual temperature and precipitation
With the Caspian Sea's north-south alignment, stretching over a distance of approximately 10 degrees, the water body crosses several different climatic regions. The northernmost regions, with Russia and Kazakhstan are characterised by dry and cold temperate continental cliamte. The south part of the sea, with Iran, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan is mountaineous and much warmer. The most precipitation is in the eastern parts, primarily in the southea...
07 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pollutants in sediments of the Caspian Sea (pesticides, nickel and chromium) Pollutants in sediments of the Caspian Sea (pesticides, nickel and chromium)
Sampled sediments in the Caspian Sea show that the accumulation is at its worst in the south and southwestern shores of this inland sea, off the shores of Iran and Azerbaijan. Sampled pollutants presented in this map are pesticides (persistant organic pollutants Lindane and DDT - POPs), and the heavy metals Chromium and Nickel.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Transportation projects converging on the Caspian Sea Transportation projects converging on the Caspian Sea
For many years, coastal navigation has connected republics in the former Soviet Union. It used the only outlet from the Caspian, the Volga-Don canal, which connects the Black Sea and the Russian canal system to the Baltic. It is still used to transport raw materials, timber, coal, grain, fertilisers, etc.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Population density and urban centers in the Caspian Sea region Population density and urban centers in the Caspian Sea region
Apart from two large urban areas – Baku-Sumgait and Makhachkala-Kaspiisk – and the Iranian coast on the southern shore, a very densely populated coastal strip where one agglomeration leads into the next, most of the population living on the shores of the Caspian is rural, with strong religious and family traditions actively maintained.
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Discharge of selected pollutants Discharge of selected pollutants
Nitrogen and phosphorous represents nutrients that can be seen as pollutants, as large concentations of those increase eutrophication. Nutrients are present in primarily commercial fertilisers and in sewage. A measure of eutrophication is biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), which measures the activity in the water column. High BOD means that there is low water quality (in terms of eutrophication) and high activity of bacteria in the water. This grap...
29 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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