What distinguishes the sea of Azov from the Black?

The answer to the question what is the difference between the sea of Azov from the Black – obvious. Same as all the seas are different from each other:

  • geographical location;
  • size;
  • depth;
  • salinity gradients;
  • the magnitude of tides;
  • flora;
  • fauna and dozens more features.

But let’s try to do comparative analysis, it is not some distant sea, and our own, which for once was every Russian.

Physical and geographic characteristics

The Black sea area is 422 thousand km2 of Azov is considerably less – about 39 thousand. The maximum depth of the Black sea – more than 2 kilometers. Azov and on this indicator takes the first place. Not in the list of the deepest and most shallow seas of our planet, its maximum depth of only 13.5 metres. At the bottom of the sea of Azov it is possible to hide only four-storey house, and that TV antennas will stick out above the surface.

The difference of the sea of Azov from the Black and in the water salinity. The salinity of the Black sea is about 18 ppm, while the Azov, the figure is only 11 (in the past, before the creation of the don at Tsimlyansk hydroelectric complex, the figure was even less). Geographically, the Azov sea is the northeastern Bay of the Black. But historically so has developed, what it is, despite the relatively small size and depth, is the proud name of «sea», while many of the sea or bays of the ocean, where having large dimensions in all respects, this title is not awarded. For example – the Great Australian Bay.

According to the most widespread hypothesis, in relatively recent times (about 5.5 thousand years BC) of the Black sea in the modern sense did not exist. In its place was a huge freshwater lake, having no communication with the Mediterranean sea, and the water level was approximately 100 meters lower than it is today. The sea of Azov did not exist in the «modern sense», it did not exist at all, and the don river flowed not present in the Taganrog Bay, and directly into the lake approximately in the region of modern Kerch Strait. This situation is due to the fact that during the ice age giant mass of water were concentrated in blocks of ice that covered a vast area. Then the climate changed, glaciers melted, and sea levels rose.

Formed through the Bosphorus in a freshwater lake rushed mass of salt water. The level of the newly created sea compared with ocean, and the shallow troughs in the lower don region has formed a modern sea of Azov. That is, it is not only the smallest but also the youngest sea in the world. A huge territory (including occupied by people) were flooded. Perhaps the memory of this cataclysm has been preserved for centuries and became the basis for the legend about «world flood».

to contents ↑the Difference between the Azov and the Black sea

The differences are not only in size, depth and salinity level. Although these reservoirs are near the coast of the Black sea is interesting because it includes areas with different climate. If the sea of Azov lies entirely in a temperate climate, Black, due to the presence of the coast mountains, sometimes has a subtropical climate. This southern coast of Crimea (protected from North winds by the Crimean mountains), black sea coast of the Caucasus and northeast Turkey. Interestingly, the majority of the Turkish coast (southern coast of the Black sea) refers to a region with a temperate climate, while some areas much further North – to the subtropics.

Finally, the main difference is the presence in the Black sea deep hydrogen sulfide layer (dissolved in sea water, sulfur compounds and hydrogen). It begins at a depth of about 150-200 meters, and the entire volume of water below this level is not suitable for the existence of any living organism, except for some anaerobic bacteria. It is estimated that of hydrogen sulphide in the sea about 3.1 billion tons. Consensus about the causes of hydrogen sulfide layer there. According to recent studies, the depth of the Black sea not only contain huge reserves of hydrogen sulfide, and methane, but in the sea of Azov nothing like this has been.

to content ↑flora and fauna

What is the difference between the Azov and the Black sea on distribution of living organisms? Yes, almost no. However, their General flora and fauna very different from the Mediterranean. This is because both seas are located generally to the North of the Mediterranean and have a lower salinity. Yes, and the presence of hydrogen sulfide layer brings about changes in plant distribution and migration of fish.

In the pool of the Black and Azov seas, much less species of marine life than the Mediterranean sea. No corals, starfish, sea urchins, octopus, squid and cuttlefish. Black sea spiny dogfish (a small shark subspecies) inhabits only in the Black sea, occasionally entering the southern sea of Azov. However, the Azov sea due to its shallow water (in fact all the sea – one large shelf, which is so like the majority of commercial fish species) has a record of fish culture. The Caspian sea, which occupies the second position in the ranking falls behind 6.5 times the Azov, Black – 40 times (due to the hydrogen sulfide layer), and the Mediterranean – in 160 times!

to content ↑Comparative table

Black sea
The sea of Azov

422 thousand sq km
39 thousand sq km

The volume contained in the sea water
555 thousand cubic km
256 cubic km

1240 m
7.5 m

2210 m
13.5 m

18 ppm
About 11 ppm, there was a slight seasonal variation

The formation of the
About 7.5 thousand years ago, before that existed as isolated fresh water lake
About 7.5 thousand years ago, before that in its place was a vast shallow lowland

Flora and fauna
The living species do not differ significantly, but the number of fish per square kilometer of the Azov Black sea exceeds 40 times

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