Caspian Sea in Russian Kaspiyskoye in Persian Daryaye Khezer, is a landlocked sea which having no natural outflow except evaporation and situated between Asia and Europe. It is the world’s largest inland body of water, with a area of 371,000 square kilometers and a maximum depth of about 980 meters, and has characteristics common to both seas and lakes. It is often listed as the world’s largest lake, though it is not a freshwater one. The Caspian Sea is bordered by five countries, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. The 3 largest rivers flow into the Caspian are Volga, Ural, and Terek.
90% of the world’s catch of sturgeon, which yield eggs that are processed into caviar, come from the Caspian Sea.
Exploitation of large oil and natural gas reservoirs under the Caspian Sea began in the 1920s, and expanded after World War II, making the area a focus of international politics.
Topography and Geography
The Caspian Sea lies east of the Caucasus Mountains and dominates the flat expanses of western Central Asia. Approximately 20 percent of the southern shoreline borders Iran/Persia (Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan provinces) at the foot of the Alborz Mountains, the remainder of the shoreline is bordered by Russia (Dagestan, Kalmykia, Astrakhan Oblast), Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan (Balkan Province), and Kazakhstan, with the central Asian steppes to the north and east. On its eastern Turkmen shore is a large embayment, the Kara Bogaz Gol.