Baltic Sea – WorldAtlas

The Baltic Sea is without doubt one of the seas of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the ocean’s fifteenth largest sea, protecting an space of roughly 377,000 km2.The ocean is roughly 1,600 km lengthy and 193 km large and has a water quantity of about 21,700 km3. The Baltic Sea is linked to the White Sea through the White Sea Canal and to the North Sea’s German Bight through Kiel Canal.

The Baltic Sea is usually cited because the world’s largest brackish inland water physique. Its water salinity ranges are decrease than that of the World Oceans as a result of influx of contemporary water from the encircling land and the ocean’s shallowness. Its depth averages 55 meters and the deepest half is roughly 459 meters under the ocean’s floor.


The place Is The Baltic Sea?

The place Is The Baltic Sea?

Baltic Sea map
Baltic Sea 

The Baltic Sea is a part of the North Atlantic Ocean, located in Northern Europe. It has a shoreline of roughly 8,000 km, shared by a number of nations, together with Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland, Estonia, Germany, Denmark, and Russia. The Baltic nations share the southeast shoreline whereas the North European Plains are on the southwest. Denmark and Sweden border the ocean to the west, whereas Finland is on the northeast. It drains into the Kattegat through the Danish Strait and covers a catchment is of roughly 1.64 million km2.

The Baltic Sea is subdivided into a number of areas. The Gulf of Bothnia (together with the Bothnia Bay) is on the northern half. The Bothnia Sea varieties the gulf’s southern basin. Under the Bothnia Sea is the Aland Sea, connecting the Bothnia Sea to the Baltic Sea correct. The Baltic Sea is linked to St. Petersburg by the Gulf of Finland. The Gulf of Riga is situated between Estonia and Latvia. On the South of the Baltic Sea are the Bay of Gdansk, Arkona Basin, and the Bornholm Basin.    

Origin Of The Title

Tacitus, a Roman politician and historian, referred to as the Baltic Sea “Mare Suebicum” in reference to the Suebi folks of Germany, whereas Ptolemy referred to it because the Sarmatian Ocean. Nonetheless, Adam of Bremen, a German Chronicler, was the primary individual to name it the “Baltic Sea.”

Though the origin of the identify “Baltic” is unclear, it might have originated from the German phrase “belt” used to check with the 2 Danish straits (Little Belt and Nice Belt). Nonetheless, different sources declare the phrase was derived instantly from a Germanic phrase for “belt.” In accordance with Adam of Bremen, the ocean stretched by the land like a belt, therefore the identify Baltic Sea.

Rivers Draining Into The Baltic Sea

Rank River Imply Discharge (m3/s) Basin (km2) States Sharing the Basin





Russia, Finland





Poland (tributaries in Belarus, Ukraine, and Slovakia)





Russia (supply), Latvia





Belarus (supply), Lithuania, Russia





Finland, Norway





Czech Republic (supply), Poland, Germany


Lule älv








Russia, Estonia


Torne älv



Norway (supply), Sweden, Finland

Greater than 250 rivers and streams empty their waters into the Baltic Sea. Rivers empty into the ocean at totally different charges, and people with the very best cubic meters per second drainage are thought-about to be main rivers. The main rivers draining into the Baltic Sea are listed under.

1. Neva – 2500 m3/s

The Neva is the most important river that drains into the Baltic Sea, with a discharge of 2500 m3/s. By way of the typical discharge of rivers in Europe, Neva River ranks fourth after the Volga, Danube, and Rhine. The 281,000 km2 basin is shared by Russia and Finland. The Neva is roughly 74 km lengthy, flows by Saint Petersburg, Kivorsk, and Shlisselburgand, and is the one river that flows from Lake Ladoga. It’s of historic significance, together with the Battle of the Neva (1240), the founding of Saint Petersburg (1703), and Siege of Leningrad throughout World Conflict II.

2. Vistula – 1080 m3/s

The second largest river draining into the Baltic Sea is the Vistula, which has a imply discharge of 1080 m3/s. With a complete size of 1047 km, Vistula is the most important and longest river in Poland. The full space of the basin fashioned by the river is 194,424 km2, nearly all of which is in Poland (168,699 km2). Nonetheless, minor tributaries forming the drainage basin exist in Belarus, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The supply of Vistula is the Barania Gora, which is situated in southern Poland. The river passes by a number of cities, together with Krakow, Warsaw, Sandomierz, Plock, and Tczew. The river drains into the Vistula Lagoonor, straight into the Gdansk Bay of the Baltic Sea.

3. Daugava – 678 m3/s

The Daugava, also called Western Dvina, is the third largest river draining into the Baltic Sea. The imply water discharge from the Daugava into the Baltic Sea is 678 m3/s, and the entire space of the basin fashioned by the river is 87,900 km2. The basin is shared by Russia, which is the supply of Daugava, and Latvia. The supply of Daugava is situated in Valdai Hills, after which flows into Belarus and Latvia. The Daugava has a complete size of 1020km.

3. Neman – 678 m3/s

The Neman is the fourth largest river draining into the Baltic Sea. The common water discharge from the Neman into the Baltic Sea is 678 m3/s. The 98,200 km2 basin is shared by Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia. The supply of the Neman is situated in Belarus, and the river then flows by Lithuania, earlier than emptying its waters into the Curonian Lagoon, after which lastly into the Baltic Sea at Klaipeda. The Neman can be generally known as Nemunas, Memel, Nyoman or Niemen.

5. Kemijoki – 556 m3/s

The Kemijoki is the fifth largest river draining into Baltic Sea, with a imply discharge of 556 m3/s. The 51,127 km2 basin fashioned by the Kemijoki is co-owned by Finland and Norway, which is the supply of the river. With a size of 550 km, Kemijoki is the longest river in Finland. The river passes by Kemijarvi and Rovaniemi, which is the place the the Kemijoki merges with the Ounasjoki River.

The Local weather Of The Baltic Sea

Storm within the Baltic Sea.

The local weather of the Baltic Sea and its catchment space is influenced by the Northern Hemisphere’s atmospheric circulation system. The area’s local weather is characterised by differences due to the season attributable to its geographical location, land-sea distinction, and topography. The North Atlantic Oscillation system influences the main air strain system, which ultimately impacts the precipitation and atmospheric circulation.

The Baltic Sea basin experiences two essential varieties of local weather. The southern half experiences a marine west coast local weather, the place wind transports moisture from the ocean, which interacts with the nice and cozy ocean currents to offer moist and delicate winter. The northern and center areas expertise temperate climates, characterised by lengthy, chilly winters, with temperatures dropping to under -3 levels Celsius.

The water temperature additionally varies with location, depth, and season. The water temperature round Bornholm Bay falls to 0-5 levels Celsius throughout winter and rise to 15-20 levels Celsius throughout summer season. Since 1720, the Baltic Sea has frozen solely about 20 instances, with the latest complete freezing reported in 1987. On common, about 45% of the ocean floor freezes yearly in winter. Areas coated by ice embrace the Gulf of Finland, Gulf of Bothnia, the Gulf of Riga, Archipelago Sea, and Stockholm archipelago. 

Islands In The Baltic Sea

Gotland Island of Sweden
Shoreline of the Gotland Island of Sweden, the most important island within the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Sea is dwelling to over 20 islands and archipelagos. Gotland, situated off the coast of Sweden, is the most important island within the Baltic Sea, protecting roughly 2,994 km2. The island has a inhabitants of roughly 58,000 folks, with its financial system revolving round agriculture and tourism.

Estonia’s Saaremaa Island is the second-largest island within the Baltic, protecting about 2,672 km2. The island is situated within the West Estonia archipelago and is dwelling to about 30,000 folks. Half of the inhabitants lives within the island’s capital, Kuressaare.

Oland, situated on the Swedish coast, is the third-largest island with an space of about 1,341 km2. It’s linked to mainland Sweden by 6 km lengthy bridge. Oland is made up of a big limestone plain often known as Stora Alvaret and is dwelling to 25,000 folks.

Lolland, Danish Island, is the 4th largest island within the Baltic Sea with an space of about 1,243 km2. It is usually Denmark’s 4th largest island and has a inhabitants of about 62,000 folks. Different islands within the Baltic Sea embrace Hiiumaa (Estonia), Rugen (Germany), Bornholm (Denmark), Falter (Denmark), and Hailuoto (Finland).

Marine Life And Protected Areas

Baltic Sea animals
Seagulls on rocks in a row on the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Sea accommodates loads of freshwaters and marine natural world. The species richness varies with location and depth. The marine fish species embrace Atlantic herring, Atlantic cod, European hake, European flounder, and turbot. The freshwater species embrace whitefish, northern pike, and customary roach. The freshwater species are widespread in rivers and streams that stream into the ocean.

The lowering salinity between the Danish belts and the Gulf of Bothnia has led to species lower alongside this path. Nonetheless, the Arkona Basin is without doubt one of the richest components, with over 600 species of mammals, fish, and birds. The Gulf of England has over 750 species. The Baltic Sea additionally accommodates a number of glacial relict species (arctic species left behind after the final glaciation), together with isopod Saduria entomon, fourhorn sculpin, and ringed seal. Different species within the Baltic Sea are bottlenose dolphin, harbor porpoise, Atlantic white-sided dolphin, and whales (mink, beluga, and beaked whales). Some of the notable megafaunas within the Baltic Sea is the basking shark, the world’s second-largest shark after whale shark.

Because the Baltic Sea is a fragile and distinctive ecosystem internet hosting a number of species, a number of areas have been designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The primary MPAs had been designated in 1994. One decade later, 3.6% of the ocean had been designated as MPA. By 2016, 48,305 km2 or 11.6% of the Baltic Sea is taken into account MPA. The protected areas embrace Nature 2000 websites, Ramsar websites, and biosphere websites. About 12.7 km2 east of Bornholm is designated Hen Directive Space to guard two fowl species, specifically Widespread Guillemot and Razorbill. Different areas embrace David’s Banke and Hvidodde Rev.

Temporary Historical past

In the course of the reign of the Roman Empire, the Baltic Sea was sometimes called the Mare Sarmaticum or Mare Suebicum. Within the early Center Ages, the ocean hosted a number of commerce empires, constructed primarily by the Norse retailers. The Norse additionally fought and conquered a lot of the Black Sea and Southern Russia. The interval of Norse dominance is known as Viking Age.

Between the eighth and 14th centuries, piracy characterised the Baltic Sea, particularly areas close to Prussia and Pomerania. Migrants from Germany started deciding on the ocean’s japanese shores across the eleventh century. Settlers had been additionally drawn from Denmark, Netherlands, and Scotland. By the 18th century, Russia managed a lot of the ocean. Because of this, Peter the Nice based St. Petersburg as his new capital. World Conflict I used to be additionally fought in some components of the Baltic Sea. However, on the finish of World Conflict II, the ocean grew to become a dumping website for chemical weapons, elevating environmental issues.

Human Settlements Alongside The Baltic Sea

9 nations border the Baltic Sea, whereas the drainage basin contains 5 extra nations: Czech Republic, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Norway. About 20% of the land across the sea is used for agriculture, and one other 25% is wetland or unused land. The remainder of the land throughout the Baltic Sea drainage basin is dwelling to 85 million folks. 15 million folks stay inside 9.7km of the associated fee and 25 million folks inside 48 km.

Poland accounts for 45% of the inhabitants throughout the drainage basin, adopted by Russia (12%), and Sweden (10%). Saint Petersburg is the most important coastal metropolis, with a inhabitants of about 5.4 million folks. Stockholm, Riga, and Helsinki every have a inhabitants of at the least 650,000 folks. In addition to the cities, some essential ports embrace Parnu and Maardu (Estonia), Pori (Finland), Flensburg (Germany), Norrkoping (Sweden), Liepaja (Latvia), and Vyborg (Russia).

Economic system

Shipyard alongside the coast of Helsinki on the Gulf of Finland, the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Sea has been an essential waterway since historical instances. Norse retailers established a number of commerce empires and managed commerce actions in and across the sea for hundreds of years. Nonetheless, latest developments across the Baltic Sea have additional facilitated commerce between the bordering nations and the remainder of the world. It’s the essential commerce route for Russian oil export. The completion of the Oresund Bridge and Nice Belt Bridge has supplied environment friendly connections between Denmark and Sweden.

Shipbuilding can be a serious exercise across the Baltic Sea. The most important shipyards are Gdynia, Gdansk, Malmo, Turku, Riga, and Saint Petersburg. In addition to shipbuilding, tourism can be a serious supply of revenue for nations bordering the Baltic Sea. All of the nations surrounding the ocean have piers and resorts. Nonetheless, environmental high quality discourages some vacationers from visiting the resort areas. 

Baltic Sea map
Baltic Sea Map



Floor Space

377,000 km2

Most Depth

459 m

Common Depth

55 m

Most Size

1,601 km

Most Width

193 km 

Water quantity

21,700 km3

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