Sea of Azov
August 30, 2004
The Sea of Azov is the northern arm of the Black Sea, shown here in this true-color Aqua MODIS image from July 31, 2004. Milky green clouds of sediment swirl through the relativly shallow water, which never exceeds 13 meters (about 45 feet) in depth. To the south, the waters of the Black Sea are a much clearer black-blue color. The Don and Kuban rivers are the source of all the sediment, which is the main culprit in the Sea's continuing loss of depth. This sea used to be a major source of freshwater fish for Russia (right) and Ukraine (left), though in the past three decades the annual catch has decreased by 97 percent. This is at least in part due to pollution from petroleum and heavy metals, as well as gradually increasing water salinity. Surrounding the sea are scores of red dots; these mark locations where the MODIS instrument detected fires. They are likely agricultural in nature, as they're spread out and aren't emitting much smoke.
Topics: Environment, Geography of Crimea, Stavropol Krai, Sea of Azov, Kuban River, Azov, Sediment, Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, Aqua, Water, Black Sea, Sea