University of Oulu

Anahita Modabberi et al 2020 Environ. Res. Lett. 15 124047,

Caspian Sea is eutrophying : the alarming message of satellite data

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Author: Modabberi, Anahita1; Noori, Roohollah2; Madani, Kaveh3,4;
Organizations: 1School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, 1417853111 Tehran, Iran
2Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, PO Box 4300, Oulu 90014, Finland
3Council on Middle East Studies, The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, United States of America
4Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
5Civil Engineering Department, Antalya Bilim University, Antalya, Turkey
6Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Art, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, 1477893855 Tehran, Iran
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: IOP Publishing, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-02-12


The competition over extracting the energy resources of the Caspian Sea together with the major anthropogenic changes in the coastal zones have resulted in increased pollution and environmental degradation of the sea. We provide the first evaluation of the spatiotemporal variation of chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) across the Caspian Sea. Using remotely sensed data from 2003 to 2017, we found that the Caspian Sea has suffered from a growing increase in Chl-a, especially in warmer months. The shallow parts of the sea, near Russia and Kazakhstan, especially where the Volga and Terek rivers discharge large nutrient loads (nitrogen- and phosphorus-rich compounds) into the sea, have experienced the highest variations in Chl-a. The Carlson’s trophic state index showed that during the study period, on average, about 12%, 26%, and 62% of the Caspian Sea’s area was eutrophic, mesotrophic, and oligotrophic, respectively. The identified trends reflect an increasing rate of environmental degradation in the Caspian Sea, which has been the subject of conflict among its littoral states that since the collapse of the Soviet Union have remained unable to agree on a legal regime for governing the sea and its resources.

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Series: Environmental research letters
ISSN: 1748-9318
ISSN-E: 1748-9326
ISSN-L: 1748-9326
Volume: 15
Issue: 12
Article number: 124047
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abc6d3
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
1172 Environmental sciences
1171 Geosciences
Funding: The authors acknowledge the support from the University of Tehran. The corresponding author has benefited from the Arctic Interactions (ArcI) Visit Grant program, Profi 4, University of Oulu during this research.
Copyright information: © 2020 TheAuthor(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.