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22 Feb

Seafloor deposits generally change from coarse pebbles and gravel at the periphery to fine silts at the centre of the basin.The geologic history of the Black Sea is not fully known, but it seems to be a residual basin of the ancient Paleocene Epoch (about 55 million years ago), when structural upheavals in Anatolia split off the Caspian basin from the Mediterranean.In ancient Greek myths, the sea—then on the fringe of the Mediterranean world—was named Pontus Axeinus, meaning “Inhospitable Sea.” Later explorations made the region more familiar, and, as colonies were established along the shores of a sea the Greeks came to know as more hospitable and friendly, its name was changed to Pontus Euxinus, the opposite of the earlier designation.

The shelf gives way at its edge to a slope, which is broken by submarine valleys and is steep in its upper parts.

Spurs of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges, separated by the Kolkhida lowland, confine the Black Sea in the east, while the Pontic Mountains run along the southern coast.

Near the Bosporus outlet, the shoreline relief is moderate though still steep.

To the countries of the region, the Black Sea has been of immense strategic importance over the centuries; the advent of more-settled conditions has brought its economic importance to the fore.

The coastline of the Black Sea is only mildly indented, except for the northwestern and northern shores, which are low and furrowed by numerous ravines, valleys, and rivers, the mouths of which are often impeded by sandy spits.