Caspian Sea 2011

State of the Environment of the Caspian Sea

tres, took everyone by surprise and caused wide- spread problems in several areas. Predicting long-term water fluctuations in the Caspian Sea is difficult due to the unknown impact of factors such as climate change, run off levels from rivers and rates of evaporation from the sea surface. The immediate effect of sea level rise in the Caspian Sea is flooding in various areas, causing economic damage to coastal infrastructure and industrial entities. The flooding could also result in pollution by hydrocarbons and wastes stored in the coastal zones which can cause significant dam- age to habitats and to the general water quality. It is believed that, in the near future, the sea level will continue to rise in the Caspian Sea region. According to the 2007 Transboundary Diag- nostic Analyses, more than 48,000 ha of land in Azerbaijan were affected by sea level rise up until 1995. Should the sea level increase to -25 me- tres, an additional 140 thousand hectares would potentially be impacted (CEP 2007a). A sea lev- el rise of 1.5m will impact four main regions in Azerbaijan. Flooding in the northern coastal zone from Samur creek to Absheron Peninsula will vary from 50 to 300 metres, resulting in a loss of 8,170 ha of land. The impacted areas will in- clude tourist resorts, 17 industrial enterprises and a 60 km stretch of highway. Flooding of the Absheron Peninsula will have a considerable impact on the urban areas of Baku, Sumgayit, Sangachal, Gobustan, Primorskiy and Piralla- hi. In Turkmenistan , the induction has nega- tive and positive effects: on one hand habitats like on Osushniye Islands are reducing, on the other - new wetlands in the eastern part of the Turkmenbashi bay are created. There are also threats of flooding on highways including on the 10 km between Sangachal and Primorsky, and on fixed oil platforms, the Oily Rocks and Bibi-Eybat oil fields, Baku harbour and a num- ber of industrial enterprises located along the coast. The total flooded area is estimated to be about 6,010 ha. Flooding in the Kura River Delta

Sea level rise in Anzali Lagoon, Iran

Caspian Sea

West Basin


Siah Keshim

Central Basin

East Region





Area that will be submerged by 2017 with a sea level rise of 1.2 metres

Lagoon extention (as of 2002) Urban areas and buildings Area cultivated whit rice Fish ponds


The scenario predict a sea level rise of 1.2 metres assuming a constant rise over a period of 10 years. Sources: Caspian Environment Programme, Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis Revisit, 2007.

– Gizilagach Bay area will impact 10 urban cen- tres and 23 industrial enterprises, while approx- imately 111,800 ha of land will be lost. Flood- ing in the Lenkoran-Astara area will lead to the loss of 5,980 ha of land and will impact Len- koran and Astara and 13 other urban centres. About 77,800 hectares are currently flooded in Iran as a result of sea level rise. Infrastructure is under threat. For example, the power station in Neka region has already been damaged. The rise in sea level has increased the hydrostatic pressure on the underground walls of the power station, and there is great concern that a storm surge may eventually flood the power station itself. The recent flood in Neka caused dam- age amounting to US$26.5 million (UNOCHA- ROMENACA ). The Anzali lagoon and Anzali Port city project has revealed a potential threat of a 1.2 m sea level rise to the project site, not only threatening an internationally important habitat, but also posing a threat to residential houses and port infrastructure (CEP 2007a)


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