Sea of Marmara
|Sea of Marmara
Map of the Sea of Marmara
|Location||Europe and Asia|
|Primary inflows||Simav River, Biga Çayı, Nilüfer River|
|Primary outflows||Turkish Straits|
|Catchment area||11,500 km2 (4,400 sq mi)|
|Surface area||11,350 km2 (4,380 sq mi)|
|Average depth||494 m (1,621 ft)|
|Max. depth||1,370 m (4,490 ft)|
|Water volume||3,378 km3 (810 cu mi)|
|Islands||Marmara Island, Avşa, İmralı, Prince Islands, Paşalimanı and Ekinlik Island|
|Settlements||Tekirdağ, Balıkesir, Çanakkale, Yalova and their towns|
The Sea of Marmara // (Turkish: Marmara Denizi, Greek: Θάλασσα του Μαρμαρά), also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis (Greek: Προποντίς), is the inland sea, entirely within the borders of Turkey, that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black Sea and the Dardanelles strait to the Aegean. The former also separates Istanbul into its Asian and European sides. The sea has an area of 11,350 km² (280 km x 80 km) with the greatest depth reaching 1,370 m (4,490 ft).
The sea's ancient Greek name Propontis derives from pro- (before) and pontos (sea), deriving from the fact that the Greeks sailed through it to reach the Black Sea, Pontos. In Greek mythology, a storm on Propontis brought the Argonauts back to an island they had left, precipitating a battle where either Jason or Heracles killed King Cyzicus, who mistook them for his Pelasgian enemies.
The surface salinity of the sea averages about 22 parts per thousand, which is slightly greater than that of the Black Sea but only about two-thirds that of most oceans. The water is much more saline at the sea bottom, averaging salinities of around 38 parts per thousand — similar to that of the Mediterranean Sea. This high-density saline water, like that of the Black Sea itself, does not migrate to the surface. Water from the Susurluk, Biga (Granicus) and Gonen Rivers also reduces the salinity of the sea, though with less influence than on the Black Sea. With little land in Thrace draining southward, almost all of these rivers flow from Anatolia.
The south coast of the sea is heavily indented, and includes the Gulf of Izmit (Turkish: İzmit Körfezi), the Gulf of Gemlik (Turkish: Gemlik Körfezi) Gulf of Bandırma (Turkish: Bandırma Körfezi) and the Gulf of Erdek (Turkish: Erdek Körfezi). During a storm on December 29, 1999, the Russian oil tanker Volgoneft broke in two in the Sea of Marmara, and more than 1,500 tonnes of oil were spilled into the water.
- On the Northeast. A line joining Cape Rumili with Cape Anatoli (41°13'N).
Towns and cities
Towns and cities on the Marmara Sea coast include:
- 1509 Istanbul earthquake
- 1999 İzmit earthquake
- Turkish Straits
- Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits
- Canal Istanbul
Sea of Marmara approaching Yassıada
View of the Marmara Sea from Yeşilköy
View of the Marmara Sea from Kadıköy
Media related to Sea of Marmara at Wikimedia Commons
- Sea of Marmara
- Marmaron, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott. "A Greek-English Lexicon". Perseus. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
- Carlos Parada. "Greek Mythology Link". Retrieved April 30, 2001.
- "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Encyclopædia Britannica
- SCIENCE FOCUS – SeaWiFS, Sea of Marmara: Where Ancient Myth and Modern Science Mix