Sea of Azov
The Azov Sea is an inland sea in the east of Europe. This is the smallest sea in the world, its depth does not exceed 13,5 meters. According to its morphological features, it refers to the flat seas and is a shallow pond with low coastal slopes. The sea coasts are mostly flat and sandy, only on the southern coast there are hills of volcanic origin, which in places pass into the steep forward mountains. In remoteness from the ocean, the Azov Sea is the continental sea of the planet. The coastline is cut by bays and streams, the territory of which is a reserved or recreational resort zone. The shores of the Azov Sea are low-lying, composed of sand-shell sediments. The large rivers Don, Kuban and numerous small rivers Mius, Berda and others flow into the Azov Sea.
The salinity level of the Sea of Azov is formed primarily due to the abundant influx of river water (up to 12% of water volume) and the difficult water exchange with The Black Sea. The water contains very little salt in the northern part of the Azov Sea. For this reason, the sea easily freezes. In winter, partial or complete freezing is possible, while ice is carried to the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait.
The underwater relief of the sea is relatively simple. As the distance from the shore, the depths slowly and smoothly increase, reaching in the central part of the sea 13 m. The main bottom area is characterized by the depths of 5-13 m. The area of greatest depths is in the center of the sea. The location of the isobath, close to a symmetrical one, is disturbed by their small elongation in the northeast toward the Taganrog Gulf. The isobath 5 m is located about 2 km from the shore, moving away from it near the Taganrog Bay and in the bay near the mouth of the Don. In the Taganrog Bay, the depths increase from the mouth of the Don (2-3 m) towards the open part of the sea, reaching 8-9 m on the border of the bay with the sea. In the relief of the bottom of the Sea of Azov, systems of underwater elevations stretched along the eastern (bank Zhelezinskaya) and The banks of the Sea and Arabatskaya coasts, the depths over which are decreasing from 8-9 to 3-5 m. For the underwater coastal slope of the northern coast is characterized by wide shallow water (20-30 km) with depths of 6-7 m, for the southern coast - steep Submarine slope Lubin 11-13 m.
The sea currents are dependent on the very strong north-east and south-west winds blowing here and therefore very often change direction. The main current is the circular flow along the shores of the Sea of Azov in a counter-clockwise direction.Fauna
The ichthyofauna of the Azov Sea currently includes 103 species and subspecies of fish belonging to the 76 genera, and is represented by through-pass, semipermeable, marine and freshwater species.
Passing fish species are laid in the sea until puberty, and they enter the river only to spawn. The breeding season in rivers and / or on loans usually does not exceed 1-2 months. Among the Azov passages there are valuable commercial species such as beluga, sturgeon, stellate sturgeon, herring, fish and shmoy.
Semipermanent species for reproduction come from the sea into the rivers. However, in rivers they can be delayed for a longer period of time than passes (up to a year). As for the young, it slides out of the spawning grounds very slowly and often remains in the river for the winter. Semi-transit fish include mass species such as pike-perch, bream, taran, Chekhon and some others.
Marine species multiply and feed in salty waters. Among them are species that constantly inhabit the Azov Sea. This - pilengas, flounder-kalkan, glossa, tulka, perkarina, triple-nosed, fish-needles and all kinds of bull-calves. And, finally, there is a large group of marine fish entering the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea, including regular migrants. These include: the Azov anchovy, the Black Sea anchovy, the Black Sea herring, the barbule, the Sinhil, the wolf, the loban, the Black Sea kalkan, the horse mackerel, the mackerel, etc.
Freshwater species usually live permanently in one area of the reservoir and do not make large migrations. These species inhabit the usually desalinated water areas of the sea. Here there are such fish as sterlet, silver crucian, pike, ide, bleak, etc.
By the number of plant and animal organisms, the Azov Sea has no equal in the world. By productivity, the Sea of Azov in 6,5 times exceeds the Caspian, 40 times - Black and 160 times the Mediterranean Sea. But in fact it is smaller than Black by 10 in size.Minerals
Geologists unanimously stand on the fact that the bowels of the Azov Sea are very rich. Here, zircon, rutile, ilmenite were found. Under the sea floor are minerals that contain a good half of Mendeleyev's table. In the south-eastern part of the sea there are underwater mud volcanoes. Industrial reserves of natural gas were found in the bowels of the Azov Sea.