Sea of Marmara

The Sea of Marmara, or otherwise known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus dividing Turkey’s Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Dardanelles and the Black Sea to the Aegean. The sea has an area of 11,350 square kilometers (280 kilometers x 80 kilometers) with the greatest depth reaching 1,370 meters.

The salinity of the sea averages about 22 parts per thousand, which is slightly greater than the salinity of the Black Sea but only about two/thirds that of most oceans. However, the water is much more saline at the bottom of the sea, averaging salinities of around 38 parts per thousand — much like that of the Mediterranean Sea.

There are two main island groups known as the Princes’ and Marmara islands.

The North Anatolian fault, which has created many major earthquakes in some recent years, such as the Izmit Earthquake of the year 1999, runs under the sea.

The name Sea of Marmara takes its name from the island of Marmara, which is very rich in sources of marble.

The ancient Greek name Propontis comes from pro, meaning before and pont, meaning sea, coming from the fact that the Greeks sailed through it to reach the Black Sea. In Greek mythology, a storm on Propontis carried the Argonauts back to an island they had left, causing a battle where either Jason or Heracles killed King Cyzicus, who mistook them for his Pelasgian enemies.

Image Caption: This astronaut photograph highlights the metropolitan area of Izmit along the northern and eastern shores of the Sea of Marmara, at the end of the Gulf of Izmit. Credit: ISS Expedition 24 crew/Wikipedia