Nature 19/11/19 “Caspian lake”: why is it called the sea

Geographical map of the worlds that serve as the knowledge of the planet a person actually are often mislead us about the nature of these it objects. The Caspian sea is one of the most striking examples of this deception. According to the explanatory dictionary of Ushakov (however, in other dictionaries the definitions are similar) sea is “part of the water shell of the earth, a huge cavity in the earth’s surface, filled with bitter-salty water and connected by a Strait or ocean forming a coastal part…”

the Caspian sea is only part of the characteristics from this definition. It is really huge (with an area of 371 thousand square km) and very deep (up to 1025 metres in the deepest part). However, the Caspian sea is not part of the world ocean, as closed and does not have any messages with him. It has no drains.

in addition, the water of the Caspian sea is not “bitter”, and almost insipid, because the sea filled up by large rivers. Only in the South-Eastern part of the reservoir, the level of salt in the water reaches 11-13 ppm. In the Caspian sea fish are found, it is typical for plain rivers and lakes. In the salty seas (e.g. the Mediterranean) you don’t meet them: carps, pikes, catfish, breams, sturgeons, pike perch, bullhead, brown trout, Chub.

And fresh water, and fish fall into the sea through a tributary river (the Volga, Ural, Terek, Kura, and others, 126 rivers). But I must admit that there are found animals and sea (Caspian seals, for example). But even if the water of the Caspian sea was not weak-and selenaselena, it does not lake a sea. In fact there are salt lakes (e.g., Crimean estuaries), and the main symptom of the sea (the connection to the ocean) from the Caspian sea is still missing.

In General, sea the Caspian sea is called in the main due to its impressive size and conservatism of the scientific community. If an ancient body of water called the sea, then so be it, – GOVtell geographers. However, if geographers have insisted, the Caspian sea with the same success could be called and the Caspian lake, brackish water and freshwater flora and fauna. This sea is considered to be is a huge Fund that is lake water (about 44 % of world reserves). The chemical composition of the water of the sea is more like a river (contains a lot of carbonates and calcium sulphates) than the sea (with lots of chlorides). The Caspian sea is often called the lake-sea as a compromise. However, other large lakes (Baikal, Ladoga, Upper (in Canada), the Great lakes, USA) is still called lakes and not seas or lakes, and seas, although they are of impressive size.

in Addition to the size and conservatism, another reason to keep the name “sea” for the Caspian sea legal regulation of relations of coastal States (in the Caspian five of them, including Russia). Maritime law specific and better parts the right to use marine resources. And to share what there is: oil, gas, fish… the Strife of the five States about their rights and the status of the Caspian sea lasted for more than a quarter of a century, with the collapse of the USSR. Agree succeeded only in 2018 If the Caspian sea was recognized as a lake, as proposed by Iran, it would have to divide all equally. But other States (with greater than Iran’s coastlines) insisted, of course, more beneficial to them the Maritime division of water resources: to your coastal sector width to two dozen miles, and the rest was in common use. In the end I decided the bottom for oil to divide the sea, and water equally. The partition of a large part of the Caspian oil and gas moved to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

There are other water bodies, the names of which are questionable. For example, the Aral sea is almost dried salty closed lake. Like it the Dead sea is too salty lake, not connected with the oceans. But the most amazing “sea”, which is not – the Sargasso. The shores of the Sargasso sea (in Atlantic ocean) forms not drying. They are formed by ocean currents. The name of this huge “sea” stems from the fact that you just had to give some name to this particular district. All this sea algae covered the “Sargassum”, so that the conditions for navigation there is absolutely terrible, and even fatal: algae are wound on screw propellers and currents and winds are very weak, so even sailing barely pass. Only a few ships go gently in this sea.

As you can see, there are salty lakes, seas without shores and the sea, not connected with the oceans. But it’s in her nature, geography… once Europeans called Greenland (“green country”) is the coldest island on the planet, and Iceland (“land of ice”) – on the contrary, quite warm. So in the 21st century, in the era of satellites and the triumph of technical progress, geographical maps contain many inaccuracies, mistakes and confusion in definitions.

Konstantin Dmitriev

© Russian Seven

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