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Ionian Sea,part of the Mediterranean Sea, S Europe, between Greece and S Italy. It is connected with the Adriatic Sea by the Strait of Otranto. The Gulf of Taranto and the Gulf of Corinth are its chief arms. The Ionian Islands lie in its eastern part. Kérkira and Pátrai (Greece) and Catania and Taranto (Italy) are the chief ports.
the central part of the Mediterranean Sea between the southwest shore of the Balkan Peninsula, the southeast shore of the Italian Peninsula, and the islands of Crete and Sicily.
The Strait of Otranto in the north connects the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic; in the west the Strait of Messina unites the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas. The shores of the Ionian Sea, particularly the shores of Greece in the east, are extremely broken; the Gulfs of Corinth and Patras, as well as Taranto Bay on the shores of Italy, are the major inlets. The Ionian Islands are in the eastern part of the sea. The Ionian Basin reaches depths of more than 4,000 m (4,594 m). There are extensive deposits on the bottom of the sea, primarily of seaweed; near the shores there are deposits of sludge, sand, and shells. Superficial currents create cyclonal whirlpools that reach speeds of 1 km/hr. Water temperature ranges from 14°C in February to 25.5°C in August. The salinity of the water is more than 38 parts per thousand. The temperature of the water at the bottom of the sea is about 13°C, and the salinity there is 38 parts per thousand. There is extensive fishing (mackerel, flounder, gray mullet). The major ports are Patras and Kerkira in Greece and Taranto and Catania in Italy.