White sea

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White Sea
White Sea
Riverside area in Belomorsk in April 2007
Riverside area in Belomorsk in April 2007
Art Randmeer
ocean Northern ocean
location on the Barents Sea
Tributaries Northern Dvina , Mesen
Important islands Solovetsky Islands , Morshovets Island
Cities on the shore Arkhangelsk , Kandalaksha
surface 90,000 km²
volume 6000 km³
Maximum depth 350 m
Middle deep 67 m


Salinity fluctuates relatively strongly

Modis white sea.jpg
NASA satellite images
White Sea Map Edited 2019.png
Map of the White Sea

Coordinates: 66 °  N , 37 °  E

The White Sea , also White Sea , ( Russian Бе́лое мо́ре ) is a tributary of the Arctic Ocean in the north of the European part of Russia .

Geography and data


The White Sea covers an area of around 90,000 km² and has a total volume of around 6,000 km³. On average it is 67 m deep, the maximum depth is 350 m. In the north the sea is bounded by the Kola peninsula , in the west by the Karelia landscape and in the south by the Arkhangelsk Oblast . Since this secondary sea is almost completely surrounded by the mainland, but has a relatively wide access to the North Sea, it is a marginal sea .


The White Sea is divided into four parts. The northern transition area to the Barents Sea is the Waronka (Russian: Воронка, German: funnel), which is 100 to 170 km wide. Their depth is up to 80 m, on average 34 m. Southeast of the Waronka lies the Mesenbusen (Russian: Мезенский залив), which is only 13 m deep . The 40 to 60 km wide Gorlo Strait (Russian: Горло, German: neck), which is 40 to 60 m deep, leads into the actual White Sea . This in turn consists of the central basin and three bays (from east to west): the Dwinabusen (average depth: 49 m), the Onega Bay (average depth: 19 m) and the Kandalaksha Bay (average depth: 109 m) .


In the White Sea are the Solovetsky Islands with the labyrinths on Bolshoi Sajazki and the Morshovets Island .


The climate is continental : while the winters are long and severe with temperatures down to −30 ° C, the summer is quite warm. The air temperature occasionally reaches up to 30 ° C, but usually does not rise above 15–20 ° C. The water temperature peaks in August and reaches 14–15 ° C in Kandalaksha Bay, 12–13 ° C in the central basin, 20–24 ° C in the shallow bays and only 7–8 ° C in the Gorlo. In winter, parts of the sea are covered with ice, but the sea only freezes over completely in very harsh winters. The surface water temperatures at this time of the year are close to freezing point , which is 0 to −1.9 ° C depending on the salinity . Below a depth of around 130 m, the water temperature does not change throughout the year (−1.4 ° C).


The salinity varies depending on the fresh water supply from the rivers within the White Sea. On the surface of the central White Sea it is 24–27 ‰, and at the depth 30 ‰. This makes the sea a little less salty than the neighboring Barents Sea.

The most important freshwater inflows are the Northern Dvina (143 km³ / a), the Mesen (33 km³ / a) and the Onega (21 km³ / a), all of which flow into the eastern part of the sea. Overall, the fresh water supply into the White Sea averages 228 km³ per year. Accordingly, the discharge into the Barents Sea (approx. 2200 km³) is somewhat higher than the inflow (2000 km³).

Ports and Transport

Russia has sole sovereignty over the White Sea. The most important port is Arkhangelsk , the most important tributary is the Northern Dvina . Another major port is Kandalaksha . The White Sea-Baltic Sea Canal was opened in 1933, and there is also a canal connection across the Volga to the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea . The ports of the White Sea are often icy from October / November until May.

Research stations

Several biological research stations are located in Kandalaksha Bay , including the WSBS of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the Kartesh promontory, the St. Petersburg State University station on Srednii Island in Chupa Bay and the BBS of Moscow's Lomonosov -University near the village of Polyakonda with a branch on the Solovetsky Islands in Onega Bay.

See also


Web links

Commons : White Sea  - Collection of images, videos and audio files