Sea of Marmara

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Marmara, Sea of,

or

Sea of Marmora,

c.4,430 sq mi (11,474 sq km), NW Turkey, between Europe in the north and Asia in the south. The Sea of Marmara, c.175 mi (280 km) long and 50 mi (80 km) wide, is connected on the east with the Black Sea through the Bosporus and on the west with the Aegean Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea) through the Dardanelles. İstanbul (Constantinople) is located at the entrance of the Bosporus into the Sea of Marmara. The sea has no strong currents and the tidal range is minimal. In ancient times the sea was known as Propontis [Gr.,=fore-sea] from its position relative to the Black Sea. Its modern name is derived from the small island of Marmara or Marmora (ancient Proconnesus), famous for its extensive marble quarries.

Marmara, Sea of

 

a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, lying between Europe and Asia Minor. Its name is derived from an island in the sea noted for its rich deposits of white marble; its ancient Greek name was Propontis (from pro, “in front” and pontos, “sea”).

In the northeast the sea is connected with the Black Sea through the Bosporus, and in the southwest it is linked with the Aegean Sea through the Dardanelles. It is 280 km long, has a maximum width of 80 km, and covers an area of 11, 472 sq km. Its average volume is 4, 000 cu km, and its maximum depth is 1, 355 m. The sea was formed as a result of major faults in the earth’s crust, which separated the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The shores are predominantly mountainous, becoming very rugged in the south and east; along its northern coast are numerous submerged reefs. The major islands are Marmara Island and the Princes Islands. The sea does not freeze over; the surface temperature is 9°C in winter and up to 29°C in summer. The hydrological conditions are basically determined by the exchange of water from the Black and Aegean seas through the straits. Salinity on the surface is up to 26 parts per thousand. The sea’s flora and fauna are related to Mediterranean species. Mackerel and other fish are caught in the sea, and it is an important route from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. The sea has been studied chiefly by the Russian scientists S. O. Makarov and I. B. Shpindler.

REFERENCES

Makarov, S. O. Ob obmene vod Chemogo i Sredizemnogo morel St. Petersburg, 1885.
Shpindler, I. B. Materialy po gidrologii Mramomogo moria, sobrannye ν ekspeditsii 1894 na turetskom parokhode “Selianik.” St. Petersburg, 1896.