|Azerbaijan: Xəzər dənizi
Iran: دریای خزر
Kazakhstan: Каспий теңізі
Russia: Каспийское море
Turkmenistan: Hazar deňzi
|Type||Endorheic, Saline, Permanent, Natural|
|Primary inflows||Volga River, Ural River, Kura River, Terek River|
|Primary outflows||Evaporation, Garabogazköl|
|Catchment area||3,626,000 km2(1,400,000 sq mi)|
|Basin countries||Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan|
|Max. length||1,030 km (640 mi)|
|Max. width||435 km (270 mi)|
|Surface area||371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi)|
|Average depth||211 m (690 ft)|
|Max. depth||1,025 m (3,360 ft)|
|Water volume||78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi)|
|Residence time||250 years|
|Shore length1||7,000 km (4,300 mi)|
|Surface elevation||−28 m (−92 ft)|
|Settlements||Baku (Azerbaijan), Anzali(Iran), Aktau (Kazakhstan), Makhachkala (Russia), Türkmenbaşy(Turkmenistan) (see article)|
|1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.|
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is an endorheic basin (a basin without outflows) located between Europe and Asia. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southeast.
The Caspian Sea presently lies about 28 m (92 ft) below sea level in the Caspian Depression, to the east of the Caucasus Mountainsand to the west of the vast steppe of Central Asia. The sea bed in the southern part reaches as low as 1,023 m (3,356 ft) below sea level, which is the second lowest natural depression on earth after Lake Baikal (−1,180 m, −3,871 ft). The ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness and large size.
The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 (143,200 sq mi) (not including the detached lagoon of Garabogazköl) and a volume of 78,200 km3 (18,800 cu mi). It has a salinity of approximately 1.2% (12 g/l), about a third of the salinity of most seawater.