North Caspian Sea
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North Caspian Sea

February 3, 2004
The northern part of the Caspian Sea is shown in this Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image acquired on 22 September 2003. This saltwater lake, the largest inland body of water in the world, is bordered in the image by southern Russia (top left) and Kazakhstan (right). This area, around the north of the Caspian Sea, is occupied by the Caspian Depression, a lowland region traversed by several rivers such as the Volga River in the left part of the image and the Ural River seen flowing from top centre in the image. This part of the Caspian Sea suffers from a process called eutrophication, greatly increased by human activities like intensive and mechanized agriculture. In this process, a lake gradually fills with organic and inorganic sediment, becoming a swamp or bog, and eventually a meadow. The northeastern part of the Caspian Sea, the most shallow, is seen in the image in bright blue colour probably due to a mixture of plant life and sediments.

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