Black Sea

Observatory's features

The Black Sea is one of the largest regional seas of the Eurasian continent and unique in many of its geographical, geological, biological, hydrographical and socio-political characteristics. With anoxic conditions in the deep, problems with invasive species and high sediment loads delivered to the system, this area has unique problems requiring long-term stations.

The Black Sea is highly impacted by riverine discharge of some of the largest European rivers, the Danube, Dniepr and Don. Its salinity ranges between 18-22‰. Furthermore, because of its hydrological isolation, the Black Sea has experienced extreme variations of salinity in the past 2 million years. Different from most marine sediments those of the Black Sea were formed under changes between limnic, marine and hypersaline settings, and oxic/anoxic phases in the water column. This has made the Black Sea one of the most fascinating areas to study sedimentary deposits and geological as well as hydrographical and climatic history of the region.


Black Sea site is a complex environment where many different subjects are studied. Amongst these subjects, the following are more specifically treated:

  • environmental studies (eutrophication issues, release of hazardous substances),
  • potential impacts of earthquakes, landslides and floods,
  • increasing knowledge of regional deep-water areas, especially with regard to gas seepage.


Black Sea's observatory


Proposed regional network in the Black Sea

Detailed description

application/pdf Black Sea observatory