A lake is smaller in size and shallower in depth than a sea. The distinction is not merely semantic, but has economic, military and political implications. Sign up to our free daily newsletter, The Economist today, Published since September 1843 to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”. Will antibody therapies help control covid-19. A lake is an inland body of (usually) fresh water, whereas a sea is saltwater and (usually) open to the ocean. Despite its name, the Caspian Sea can be called either a lake or a sea. Arctic seals, Mediterranean seals, and the endemic Caspian seal, fishes like sturgeon, pike, and herring, and crabs, clams, and barnacles as well, all inhabit the waters of the Caspian Sea. If it is classified as a lake, then each of the five countries bordering it will be sharing one-fifth of the entire revenue generated by exploiting the natural resources of the lake. It is called a sea and not a lake because when the Ancient Romans arrived there, they discovered that the water was salty (about a third as salty as regular seawater); they named the sea after the Caspian tribe that lived there. When one looks at a map, they will see in the heart of Eurasia the largest inlet of water in the world: the Caspian Sea. On August 12th the leaders of the five Caspian countries met in the Kazakh city of Aqtau to determine the water’s status. sea) and by sharing the seabed in territorial areas, modelled on a lake. The vast natural resources of the region allowed such ancient civilizations to flourish in the region. ), and therefore has characteristics common to both seas and lakes. An endorheic basin, it is between Europe and Asia. The Caspian Sea is a landlocked body of water between Europe and Asia. This is a relatively small lake … The Caspian’s surface may be closer to a sea, but the fate of the subsoil remains a work in progress. 0. The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland sea. The Caspian is the largest salt lake in the world, but that has not always been true. In addition, Turkmenistan, with the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves, hopes to construct a Trans-Caspian Pipeline to export gas to Europe. C. Most of Russia is rugged and mountainous. Cargo like petroleum, lumber, cereal grains, and sulfates are also transported via the Caspian Sea waterway between the countries lying across and around the sea. … The feasibility of trans-Caspian pipelines, taking oil from Kazakhstan and gas from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, was reaffirmed, though these were technically already permissible under international law. Endorheic basins like the Caspian Sea, Dead Sea, Aral Sea, Salton Sea, etc which have 'sea' in their common names, are all technically lakes because they are internally drained and completely surrounded by land. Lakes’ surfaces and beds are divided up equally by bordering countries. The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, made clear that more agreements are required to divide the seabed into territorial zones. The Caspian Sea is being debated because some countries call it a lake and others call it a sea. The convention most clearly benefits Russia in the short term. But the seabed and its lucrative mineral deposits are not allocated in precise form. The surface is … The vastness of the Caspian Sea is reflected in the climatic differences seen in different parts of the sea. But a resolution of the disputed area in the southern Caspian remains elusive. D. The Ural Mountains form a boundary between Russia and China. The volume is 78,200 cubic km. There is a serious debate as to whether the Caspian is legally a lake or a sea - and how this debate is resolved could have … Endorheic lakes are usually more sensitive to pollution than waterbodies that drain to the ocean. In fact, a series of bi-lateral treaties between the Soviet Union and Iran identified the Caspian Sea as a lake, the resources of which should be divided equally between them.2 If the Caspian Sea is in fact a large salty lake under the jurisdiction of its littoral states, or of Russia and Iran alone, then the United Nations and international law have no jurisdiction over its waters. Mediterranean: A sea that that surrounds North East Africa. Though environmental and ecological issues like overfishing, coastal desertification, water pollution from oil and natural gas drilling and industrial effluents, and sea-level fluctuations due to climate change continue to threaten the Caspian Sea, the threats from these sources can only be addressed if the countries sharing its water cooperate with one another to solve such issues. Five countries — Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Azerbaijan — border the inland sea. Much of the confusion comes because there are no internationally agreed-upon definitions for seas or lakes. In 1980, a dam was built at the mouth of the Kara-Bogaz-Gol to control wa… By the 16th Century, the presence of rich oil and natural gas resources in the area around Caspian Sea were already known to the Europeans, though this had less significance in the age before the internal combustion engine. It is the largest enclosed body of water on the planet. mi. In 1720 and again in 1731, the first major scientific reports on the sea were published. After more than three decades, the aircraft was moved in 2020 to Derbent, with plans to make it the star of Derbent's planned Patriot Park, a military museum and theme park that will display a variety of Soviet and Russian military equipment. It is the world's largest inland body of water, with a surface area of 371,000 km² (143,000 sq. The pre-Caspian Sea are Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran. In terms of fish for meat, four-fifths of the global sturgeon catch involves sturgeons landed from the Caspian Sea. Because of this, minerals build up in the water as it evaporates and the lake usually becomes saline. It cites environmental concerns, but may be rather more motivated by a desire to maintain its market dominance. The sea almost dried up during warm and dry periods.In its northern section where the Volga River drains into the Caspian Sea, it is a freshwater lake. Iran, which has a short Caspian coast, still prefers this idea. The Caspian Sea or Mazandaran Sea is a landlocked sea between Asia and Europe (European Russia). Currently, a large debate co… Though average summer temperatures from north to south range between 24 and 26° Celsius, average winter temperatures exhibit extremes in the northern part, being around −10° Celsius, while in the south they remain around a mild 10° Celsius. Such facts are explained further down in this article. The Caspian Sea, the world’s largest enclosed, inland body of water, with an area of 386,400 square kilometers and a salinity of 1.2% concentration, is located between Europe and Asia. The Caspian is also a famous vacationing spot for the people of countries bordering it, as well tourists from other parts of the globe. Maximum depth - 1,378 ft. Average depth - 243 ft. Who wins and who loses? It is often listed as the world's largest lake, though it is not a freshwater one. The countries bordering the sea are in constant competition with each other, whether that be to access the sea for fishing, capturing its oil and natural gas resources, for using its waterways to connect to international waters, or otherwise. Often regarded as the largest lake in the world, the Caspian Sea is located between the continents of Asia and Europe. The surface is to be treated as a sea, with states granted jurisdiction over 15 nautical miles of water from their coasts and fishing rights over an additional ten miles. When Iran and the USSR were the only two countries to border the Caspian, a series of bilateral treaties identified it as a lake that they divided equally. However, the Iranian shore is more saline, as there is little flow coming from its catchment basin. Like many lakes, it does not feed into an ocean, but it is sea-like in its size and depth. Seas are governed by the UN’s Law of the Sea. The Caucasus Mountains rise to the west of … But do not let this name fool you. It became a lake with no access to the sea some 5.5 million years ago. Caspian Sea - Caspian Sea - Marine life: About 850 animal and more than 500 plant species live in the Caspian. For 20 years Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, which surround it, have disagreed over whether it is a lake or a sea. Resources. The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It became landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to tectonic uplift and a fall in sea level. The Caspian Sea is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea, like the Black Sea, the Aral Sea, Lake Urmia and Lake Oroumieh. Under such circumstances, Iran, with only 13% of the Caspian's shoreline, would suffer heavy losses. Kazakhstan, which has the longest shore on the Caspian, is among the countries that prefer to call it a sea. It is east of the Caucasus, west of the broad steppe of Central Asia, south of the fertile plains of Southern Russia in Eastern Europe, and north of the mountainous Iranian Plateau of Western Asia. The first humans inhabited this region as far back as 75,000 years ago. According to historians and geographers it is considered that the sea is approximately 30 million years old. During the Soviet era the Caspian Sea was considered a lake. On the other hand, the Caspian also has the defining characteristics of a lake: it is land-locked and has no outflowing rivers. As per geological estimates, the Caspian Sea was formed about 30 million years ago, and attained its current landlocked status some 5.5 million years back. After the fall of the Soviet Union, however, the successor countries changed their tune and began calling it a sea. Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is also an endorheic basin and not connected to the oceans of the world. Major cities of ancient civilizations that grew up along the shores of the Caspian Sea included Hyrcania, Atil, and Tamisheh. The Caspian Sea basin, especially its northeastern parts, is one of the most fossil fuel-enriched areas of the world in terms of its presence of oil and natural gas reserves. Discoveries in the Huto cave near the town of Behshahr in Iran point to the existence of a human populationin the area 75,000 years ago. Oil is extracted both from wells drilled on land and those offshore into the seabed. It covers 371,000 km (143,000 sq mi) (excluding the highly saline lagoon of Garabogazköl) and a volume of 78,200 km (19,000 cu mi). On the other hand, the present truths that the Caspian Sea is completely landlocked on all sides and that it has freshwater towards its northern parts, especially near the mouth of the Volga River, deems it suitable to classify the Caspian Sea as a lake. In the 1960s and 1970s, its water level dropped considerably, as many of its waters were used for irrigation and other activities. The Volga River drains into the Arctic Ocean. The Caspian Sea is the largest lake on the Earth. A tectonic uplift and a fall in sea level caused it to became landlocked approximately 5.5 million years ago. The convention also permits the construction of pipelines, which only require the approval of the countries whose seabed they cross, subject to environmental provisions, and forbids non-Caspian countries from deploying military vessels in the water. Russian explorations and expeditions to the inland sea continued at a rapid pace thereafter until the break up and collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The term 'sea' is kind of inconsistently used. The history of the Caspian Sea, such as the fact that it was linked to the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea sometime back in the geological time scale and currently still possesses brackish water in some parts and produces wave-like features, leads some to end up classifying it as a sea. While the northern parts experience a moderate continental climate, a subtropical climate prevails in the southern parts. Kukral refers to it as a lake, as do many scholars. A recent convention ended up hedging its bets. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2020 worldatlas.com, The Sea of Galilee Is a Freshwater Lake and Not a Sea. The aircraft was not destroyed, but abandoned in the Caspian Sea, being visible in 2020. B. The early 20th Century expeditions led by Russian zoologist Nikolai M. Knipovich, led to a through in the elucidation of many multidisciplinary aspects concerning the Caspian Sea. Namely, these are Russia and Azerbaijan to the northwest and west, respectively, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to the northeast and southeast, respectively, and Iran to the south. All rights reserved. The eastern shores of the lake experience higher temperatures than elsewhere, reaching up to a maximum of 44° Celsius in the summers. D. Caspian Sea. Red sea: A sea that that surrounds the Horn of Africa. Though apparently this classification does not appear to be anything but a geographical correction, there is a much deeper implication for the definition of the status of the Caspian Sea, which can significantly impact the economy of the countries bordering it. Its area is 371,000 square km. The Caspian Sea is the world's largest lake. Oil and natural gas mining and export greatly benefit the economies of the countries bordering the Caspian Sea. It's difficult to say, as the final text of the deal is yet to be published. Besides oil and natural gas resources, the Caspian Sea is also famous for its sturgeon fish populations. But many hydrocarbon deposits in the south of the Caspian are disputed by Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan. The resulting Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was a compromise. Five countries border the Caspian Sea. The Caspian basin and surrounding area are rich in hydrocarbons, which include 48bn barrels of oil and over 8 trillion cubic metres of gas, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The convention’s benefits for the other Caspian states are more ambiguous. Tiny algae and diatoms constitute a huge percentage of the biomass of the sea. Hope this helps ;) Although the number of species is relatively low for a body of water of that size, many of them are endemic (i.e., found only there). But do not let this name fool you. water density of the latter sea is marginally more than sea water even, so that one can float in it without drowning. Explanation: Caspian sea is not actually a sea but a lake. Currently, a large debate concerning the classification of the Caspian Sea is the subject of much geopolitical talk. The Caspian Sea is about as strange as a body of water gets. Though the Caspian is called a sea, it is a lake. Kazakhstan will benefit from a firmer framework for the jurisdiction of its offshore Kashagan oil field, but that is already in operation. Copyright © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2020. These Caspian sturgeons' eggs are use to make some of the finest varieties of the global delicacy known as caviar. Lake Khantayskoye. It has historically been considered a sea because of its size and its saline water, but it embodies many characteristics of lakes. However, territorial disputes centered around the sharing of Caspian Sea and its resources among the bordering nations makes it nearly impossible to protect the sea from such dire environmental threats. The Caspian's strategic importance lies in its abundance of energy resources. Answer: I think it might be (B) The Caspian Sea, like the Aral Sea, Black Sea, and Lake Urmia, is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea. Here, the classification of the Caspian Sea as a lake or as a sea becomes vitally significant. Despite its name, it determines that the Caspian is neither lake nor sea. Lake connotes fresh (drinkable) water. Moreover, the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea experiences a desert climate. By Oishimaya Sen Nag on March 1 2018 in Environment. The resulting Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was a compromise. The surface and bed are allotted, nearer to shore, according to the length of relevant coastline. The Caspian Sea is an endorheic, or terminal lake, meaning that its water does not reach the ocean. A lake or sea? It's the biggest lake in Europe. Approximately 850 animal species and more than 500 plant species are represented in the Caspian. The surrounding countries already exploit the reserves close to their coasts, where jurisdiction is the same regardless of whether the Caspian is a lake or a sea. However, if it was classified as a sea, then countries would share its bounties based on the length of the coastline of each country along the Caspian Sea. A lake or sea? The density rules out any marine life like fishes and hence the name 'Dead Sea'. Russia has long opposed the pipeline. It is unclear if the other Caspian states are still able to prevent their construction by citing environmental concerns. As another sea in Russia, Caspian Sea have gas and oil field which that so rich and … It has a salinityof appr… Russia secures the dominance of its Caspian Sea fleet, from which it has launched missiles at targets in Syria. Answers (2) Kavan Today, 02:39. The convention also serves as a show of Russo-Iranian co-operation in the face of American sanctions, and lets Russia reassert its ties to Caspian states in the context of rising Chinese influence in the region. WHAT is the Caspian? Despite its name, it determines that the Caspian is neither lake nor sea. Seas are often defined by connection to the ocean or another sea via salt water, which the Caspian Sea is not. 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