HOME

TheInfoList




The Baltic Sea is an arm of the
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, enclosed by
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
, northeast
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
and the North and Central European Plain. The sea stretches from 53°N to 66°N
latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

latitude
and from 10°E to 30°E
longitude Longitude (, ) is a geographic coordinate A geographic coordinate system (GCS) is a coordinate system associated with position (geometry), positions on Earth (geographic position). A GCS can give positions: *as Geodetic coordinates, ...

longitude
. A
marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% of Water distribution on Earth, Earth's w ...
of the Atlantic, with limited water exchange between the two water bodies, the Baltic Sea drains through the Danish Straits into the
Kattegat The Kattegat ( , ; sv, Kattegatt ) is a sea area bounded by the Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Hal ...

Kattegat
by way of the
Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is ...
,
Great Belt The Great Belt ( da, Storebælt, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some str ...
and
Little Belt The Little Belt (, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not n ...
. It includes the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
, the
Bay of Bothnia The Bothnian Bay or Bay of Bothnia (; ) is the northernmost part of the Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf ...
, the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
, the
Gulf of Riga The Gulf of Riga, Bay of Riga, or Gulf of Livonia ( lv, Rīgas jūras līcis, et, Liivi laht, russian: Рижский залив) is a bay of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the , enclosed by , , , , , , northeast , , and the . ...

Gulf of Riga
and the Bay of Gdańsk. The
Baltic Proper Baltic Proper covers the part of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the , enclosed by , , , , , , northeast , , and the . The sea stretches from to and from to . A of the Atlantic, with limited water exchange between the two wate ...
is bordered on its northern edge, at the latitude 60°N, by the
Åland Islands The Åland Islands, or simply Åland (, also , , ; fi, Ahvenanmaa ) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a sm ...

Åland Islands
and the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
, on its northeastern edge by the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
, on its eastern edge by the
Gulf of Riga The Gulf of Riga, Bay of Riga, or Gulf of Livonia ( lv, Rīgas jūras līcis, et, Liivi laht, russian: Рижский залив) is a bay of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the , enclosed by , , , , , , northeast , , and the . ...

Gulf of Riga
, and in the west by the
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...

Swedish
part of the southern Scandinavian Peninsula. The Baltic Sea is connected by
artificial waterways
artificial waterways
to the
White Sea The White Sea (russian: Белое море, ''Béloye móre''; Karelian language, Karelian and fi, Vienanmeri, lit. Dvina Sea; yrk, Сэрако ямʼ, ''Serako yam'') is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of ...
via the
White Sea-Baltic Canal White is the lightness, lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of fresh snow, chalk and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully diffuse reflection, reflect and scattering, scatter all the visible spec ...
and to the
German Bight Satellite view of the German Bight, Jutland to the right (east). The German Bight (german: Deutsche Bucht; da, tyske bugt; nl, Duitse bocht; fry, Dútske bocht; ; sometimes also the German Bay) is the southeastern bight of the North Sea ...

German Bight
of the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
via the
Kiel Canal estuary, and thence to the North Sea The Kiel Canal (german: Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, literally "North- oEast alticSea canal", formerly known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal) is a freshwater canal in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Schles ...
.


Definitions


Administration

The Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area includes the Baltic Sea and the
Kattegat The Kattegat ( , ; sv, Kattegatt ) is a sea area bounded by the Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Hal ...

Kattegat
, without calling Kattegat a part of the Baltic Sea, "For the purposes of this Convention the 'Baltic Sea Area' shall be the Baltic Sea and the Entrance to the Baltic Sea, bounded by the parallel of the Skaw in the Skagerrak at 57°44.43'N."


Traffic history

Historically, the Kingdom of Denmark collected Sound Dues from ships at the border between the ocean and the land-locked Baltic Sea, in tandem: in the
Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is ...
at
Kronborg Kronborg is a castle A castle is a type of structure built during the predominantly by the or royalty and by . Scholars debate the scope of the word ''castle'', but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or ...

Kronborg
castle near
Helsingør Helsingør ( , ; sv, Helsingör), classically known in English as Elsinore , is a city in eastern Denmark. Helsingør Municipality had a population of 62,686 on 1 January 2018. Helsingør and Helsingborg in Sweden together form the northern rea ...

Helsingør
; in the
Great Belt The Great Belt ( da, Storebælt, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some str ...
at
Nyborg Nyborg is a city in central , located in on the island of and with a population of 17,415 (2021). It is the easternmost settlement on Funen. By road, it is located 34 km east of , 35 km north of and 21 km south of . It also co ...
; and in the
Little Belt The Little Belt (, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not n ...
at its narrowest part then
Fredericia Fredericia () is a town located in Fredericia Municipality in the southeastern part of the Jutland peninsula in Denmark. The city is part of the Triangle Region Denmark, Triangle Region, which includes the neighbouring cities of Kolding and Vejl ...
, after that stronghold was built. The narrowest part of Little Belt is the "Middelfart Sund" near
Middelfart Middelfart is a town in central Denmark, with a population of 15,922 (1 January 2020). The town is the municipal seat of Middelfart Municipality on the island of Funen ( da, Fyn). Etymology The name Middelfart, first recorded as "Mæthælfar" in ...
.


Oceanography

Geographers widely agree that the preferred physical border of the Baltic is a line drawn through the southern Danish islands,
Drogden Drogden is a channel through Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two large ...
-Sill and
Langeland Langeland (, ) is a Danish island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.ht ...

Langeland
. The Drogden Sill is situated north of
Køge Bugt
Køge Bugt
and connects Dragør in the south of
Copenhagen Copenhagen ( da, København ) is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of 1 January 2021, the city had a population of 799,033 (638,117 in Copenhagen Municipality, 103,677 in Frederiksberg Municipality, 42,670 in Tårnby Municipal ...

Copenhagen
to
Malmö Malmö (, ; da, Malmø ) is the largest city in the Counties of Sweden, Swedish county (län) of Skåne County, Scania (Skåne). It is the List of urban areas in Sweden by population, third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenbur ...

Malmö
; it is used by the
Øresund Bridge The Öresund or Øresund Bridge ( da, Øresundsbroen ; sv, Öresundsbron ; hybrid name: ) is a combined Road-rail bridge, railway and motorway bridge across the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark. It is the longest combined List of road ...

Øresund Bridge
, including the ''Drogden Tunnel''. By this definition, the Danish Straits is part of the entrance, but the Bay of Mecklenburg and the
Bay of Kiel The Bay of Kiel or Kiel Bay (, ; ) is a bay in the southwestern Baltic Sea, off the shores of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and the islands of Denmark. It is connected with the Bay of Mecklenburg in the east, the Little Belt in the northwest, an ...
are parts of the Baltic Sea. Another usual border is the line between
Falsterbo Falsterbo (, outdatedly ) is a town located at the south-western tip of Sweden Sweden (; sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The Unit ...

Falsterbo
, Sweden, and
Stevns Klint Stevns Klint is a white chalk cliff located some southeast of Store Heddinge on the Danish island of Zealand. Stretching along the coast, it is of geological importance as one of the best exposed Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, Cretaceous-Tertia ...

Stevns Klint
, Denmark, as this is the southern border of
Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is ...
. It's also the border between the shallow southern Øresund (with a typical depth of 5–10 meters only) and notably deeper water.


Hydrography and biology

Drogden Drogden is a channel through Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two large ...
Sill (depth of ) sets a limit to Øresund and Darss Sill (depth of ), and a limit to the Belt Sea. The shallow sills are obstacles to the flow of heavy salt water from the Kattegat into the basins around
Bornholm Bornholm (; non, Burgundaholmr) is a Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people ...

Bornholm
and
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
. The Kattegat and the southwestern Baltic Sea are well oxygenated and have a rich biology. The remainder of the Sea is brackish, poor in
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
, and in species. Thus, statistically, the more of the entrance that is included in its definition, the healthier the Baltic appears; conversely, the more narrowly it is defined, the more endangered its biology appears.


Etymology and nomenclature

Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
called it ''Mare Suebicum'' after the
Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...
of the
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been d ...
, and
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
''Sarmatian Ocean'' after the
Sarmatians The Sarmatians (; Ancient Greek, Greek: ; la, Sarmatae , ) were a large Iranian peoples, Iranian confederation that existed in classical antiquity, flourishing from about the fifth century BC to the fourth century AD. Originating in the centr ...
, but the first to name it the ''Baltic Sea'' () was the eleventh-century German chronicler
Adam of Bremen Adam of Bremen ( la, Adamus Bremensis; german: Adam von Bremen) (before 1050 – 12 October 1081/1085) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or peopl ...
. The origin of the latter name is speculative and it was adopted into
Slavic
Slavic
and
Finnic languages The Finnic (''Fennic'') or more precisely Balto-Finnic (''Balto-Fennic''; Baltic Finnic, ''Baltic Fennic'') languages, are a branch of the Uralic language family The Uralic languages (; sometimes called Uralian languages ) form a language fam ...

Finnic languages
spoken around the sea, very likely due to the role of
Medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share ...
in
cartography Cartography (; from χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using s. Combining , , and technique, cartography builds on the premise that rea ...
. It might be connected to the Germanic word ''belt'', a name used for two of the Danish straits, the Belts, while others claim it to be directly derived from the source of the Germanic word,
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
''balteus'' "belt".Balteus
in ''
Nordisk familjebok ''Nordisk familjebok'' (, "Nordic Family Book") is a Swedish language, Swedish encyclopedia that was published in print form between 1876 and 1957, and that is now fully available in digital form via Project Runeberg at Linköping University. H ...
''.
Adam of Bremen Adam of Bremen ( la, Adamus Bremensis; german: Adam von Bremen) (before 1050 – 12 October 1081/1085) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or peopl ...
himself compared the sea with a belt, stating that it is so named because it stretches through the land as a belt (''Balticus, eo quod in modum baltei longo tractu per Scithicas regiones tendatur usque in Greciam''). He might also have been influenced by the name of a legendary island mentioned in the ''Natural History'' of
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, includi ...

Pliny the Elder
. Pliny mentions an island named
Baltia Baltia, Basilia or Abalus is an island in northern Europe mentioned in Greco-Roman geography in the connection of amber. It presumably corresponds to a territory near either the Baltic Sea or the North Sea, perhaps the coast of Prussia, the islan ...
(or Balcia) with reference to accounts of
Pytheas Pytheas of Massalia (; Ancient Greek: Πυθέας ὁ Μασσαλιώτης ''Pythéas ho Massaliōtēs''; Latin: ''Pytheas Massiliensis''; born 350 BC, 320–306 BC) was a Greeks, Greek List of Graeco-Roman geographers, geographer, explore ...
and
Xenophon Xenophon of Athens (; grc, Ξενοφῶν Xenophon of Athens (; grc-gre, Ξενοφῶν, , ''Xenophōn''; – 354 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens mont ...

Xenophon
. It is possible that Pliny refers to an island named Basilia ("the royal") in ''On the Ocean'' by Pytheas. ''Baltia'' also might be derived from ''belt'' and mean "near belt of sea, strait". Meanwhile, others have suggested that the name of the island originates from the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
root ''*bʰel'' meaning "white, fair". This root and its basic meaning were retained in
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
(as ''baltas''), Latvian (as ''balts'') and
Slavic
Slavic
(as ''bely''). On this basis, a related hypothesis holds that the name originated from this Indo-European root via a
Baltic language The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic languages, Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. Baltic languages are spoken by the Balts, mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Se ...
such as Lithuanian. Another explanation is that, while derived from the aforementioned root, the name of the sea is related to names for various forms of water and related substances in several European languages, that might have been originally associated with colors found in swamps (compare Proto-Slavic '' *bolto'' "swamp"). Yet another explanation is that the name originally meant "enclosed sea, bay" as opposed to open sea. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
the sea was known by a variety of names. The name Baltic Sea became dominant only after 1600. Usage of ''Baltic'' and similar terms to denote the region east of the sea started only in the 19th century.


Name in other languages

The Baltic Sea was known in ancient Latin language sources as ''Mare Suebicum'' or even ''Mare Germanicum''. Older native names in languages that used to be spoken on the shores of the sea or near it usually indicate the geographical location of the sea (in Germanic languages), or its size in relation to smaller gulfs (in Old Latvian), or tribes associated with it (in Old Russian the sea was known as the Varanghian Sea). In modern languages it is known by the equivalents of "East Sea", "West Sea", or "Baltic Sea" in different languages: * "Baltic Sea" is used in Modern English; in the
Baltic languages The Baltic languages belong to the Balto-Slavic The Balto-Slavic languages are a branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It traditionally comprises the Baltic languages, Baltic and Slavic languages. Baltic and Slavic languages sha ...

Baltic languages
Latvian (''Baltijas jūra''; in Old Latvian it was referred to as "the Big Sea", while the present day Gulf of Riga was referred to as "the Little Sea") and
Lithuanian Lithuanian may refer to: * Lithuanians Lithuanians ( lt, lietuviai, singular ''lietuvis/lietuvė'') are a Balts, Baltic ethnic group. They are native to Lithuania, where they number around 2,561,300 people. Another million or more make up the Lith ...
(''Baltijos jūra''); in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
(''Mare Balticum'') and the
Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of w ...

Romance languages
French
French
(''Mer Baltique''),
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
(''Mar Baltico''),
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
(''Mar Báltico'') and
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Euro ...
(''Marea Baltică'') and; in
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
( ''Valtikí Thálassa''); in
Albanian Albanian may refer to: *Pertaining to Albania in Southeast Europe; in particular: **Albanians, an ethnic group native to the Balkans **Albanian language **Albanian culture **Demographics of Albania, includes other ethnic groups within the country ...

Albanian
(''Deti Balltik''); in
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
(''Môr Baltig''); in the
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
(''Morze Bałtyckie'' or ''Bałtyk''),
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A countr ...
(''Baltské moře'' or ''Balt''),
Slovenian Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
(''Baltsko morje''),
Bulgarian Bulgarian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Bulgaria * Bulgarians, a South Slavic ethnic group * Bulgarian language, a Slavic language * Bulgarian alphabet * A citizen of Bulgaria, see Demographics of Bulgaria * Bulg ...

Bulgarian
( ''Baltijsko More''), Kashubian (''Bôłt''),
Macedonian Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
(Балтичко Море ''Baltičko More''),
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
( ''Baltijs′ke More''),
Belarusian Belarusian may refer to: * Something of, or related to Belarus * Belarusians, people from Belarus, or of Belarusian descent * A citizen of Belarus, see Demographics of Belarus * Belarusian language * Belarusian culture * Belarusian cuisine * Byeloru ...
(Балтыйскае мора ''Baltyjskaje Mora''),
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
( ''Baltiyskoye More'') and
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
(''Baltičko more'' / ); in
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...
(Balti-tenger). * In
Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian su ...

Germanic languages
, except English, "East Sea" is used, as in
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most po ...
(''Oossee''),
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...
(''Østersøen'' ),
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
(''Oostzee''),
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
(''Ostsee''),
Low German : : : : : , minority = (70,000) (30,000) (8,000) , familycolor = Indo-European , fam2 = Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germanic langua ...
''(Oostsee)'',
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
and
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
(''Eystrasalt''),
Norwegian Norwegian, Norwayan, or Norsk may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Norway, a country in northwestern Europe *Norwegians, both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway *Demographics of Norway *The Norwegian language, including the t ...
(
Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a North Germanic languages, North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is an official language. A ...
: ''Østersjøen'' ;
Nynorsk Nynorsk (translates to “Modern Norwegian”, literally “New Norwegian”) is one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language, the other being Bokmål. From 12 May 1885, it became the state-sanctioned version of Ivar Aasen's standa ...
: ''Austersjøen''), and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langua ...
(''Östersjön''). In
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language ...
it was known as ''Ostsǣ''; also in
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...
the former name was ''Keleti-tenger'' ("East-sea", due to German influence). In addition,
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
, a
Finnic language The Finnic (''Fennic'') or Balto-Finnic (''Balto-Fennic''; Baltic Finnic, ''Baltic Fennic'') languages are a branch of the Uralic language family spoken around the Baltic Sea by Finnic peoples. There are around 7 million speakers who live ...

Finnic language
, uses the term ''Itämeri'' "East Sea", possibly a
calque In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...

calque
from a Germanic language. As the Baltic is not particularly eastward in relation to Finland, the use of this term may be a leftover from the period of Swedish rule. * In another Finnic language,
Estonian Estonian may refer to: *Something of, from, or related to Estonia, a country in the Baltic region in northern Europe *Estonians, people from Estonia, or of Estonian descent *Estonian language *Estonian cuisine *Estonian culture See also

* * La ...
, it is called the "West Sea" (''Läänemeri''), with the correct geography (the sea is west of Estonia). In
South Estonian South Estonian is spoken in south-eastern Estonia, encompassing the Tartu, Mulgi, Võro and Seto Seto may refer to: Places * Seto, Aichi, production place of Japanese pottery and venue of Expo 2005 * Seto, Ehime, facing the Seto Inland Sea *Se ...
, it has the meaning of both "West Sea" and "Evening Sea" (''Õdagumeri'').


History


Classical world

At the time of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, the Baltic Sea was known as the ''Mare Suebicum'' or ''Mare Sarmaticum''.
Tacitus Publius Cornelius Tacitus ( , ; – ) was a Roman historian and politician. Tacitus is widely regarded as one of the greatest Roman historians by modern scholars. He lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature Classi ...

Tacitus
in his AD 98 ''Agricola'' and ''Germania'' described the Mare Suebicum, named for the
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been d ...
tribe, during the spring months, as a
brackish Brackish water, also sometimes termed brack water, is water occurring in a natural environment having more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing seawater (salt water) with fresh water together, as in est ...
sea where the ice broke apart and chunks floated about. The Suebi eventually migrated southwest to temporarily reside in the Rhineland area of modern Germany, where their name survives in the historic region known as
Swabia upThe coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg: ''Or, three lions passant sable'', the arms of the Duchy of Swabia, in origin the coat of arms of the House of Hohenstaufen. Also used for Swabia (and for Württemberg-Baden during 1945–1952) are ...

Swabia
.
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
called it the ''Germanic Sea'' in his work, the ''
Getica ''De origine actibusque Getarum'' (''The Origin and Deeds of the Getae oths'), commonly abbreviated ''Getica'', written in Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
''.


Middle Ages

In the early
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, Norse (Scandinavian) merchants built a trade empire all around the Baltic. Later, the Norse fought for control of the Baltic against Wendish tribes dwelling on the southern shore. The Norse also used the rivers of
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
for trade routes, finding their way eventually to the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
and southern Russia. This Norse-dominated period is referred to as the
Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation o ...
. Since the
Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation o ...
, the Scandinavians have referred to the Baltic Sea as ''Austmarr'' ("Eastern Lake"). "Eastern Sea", appears in the ''
Heimskringla ''Heimskringla'' () is the best known of the Old Norse kings' sagas ''Norges Kongesagaer'' Edited by Gustav Storm and Alexander Bugge Illustrated by Gerhard Munthe">Alexander_Bugge.html" ;"title="Gustav Storm and Alexander Bugge">Gustav Storm an ...
'' and ''Eystra salt'' appears in ''
Sörla þáttr , an image stone on Gotland ''Sörla þáttr eða Heðins saga ok Högna'' is a short narrative from the extended version ''Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta''The ''Younger Edda''. Rasmus B. Anderson transl. (1897) Chicago: Scott, Foresman & Co. ...
''.
Saxo Grammaticus 200px, Saxo, drawn by the Norwegian illustrator Louis Moe. Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1150 – c. 1220), also known as Saxo cognomine Longus, was a Danish people, Danish historian, theologian and author. He is thought to have been a clerk or secretary to ...

Saxo Grammaticus
recorded in ''
Gesta Danorum ''Gesta Danorum'' ("Deeds of the Danes Danes ( da, danskere, ) are a North Germanic peoples, North Germanic ethnic group native to Denmark and a modern nation identified with the country of Denmark. This connection may be ancestral, legal, h ...
'' an older name, '' Gandvik'', ''-vik'' being Old Norse for "bay", which implies that the Vikings correctly regarded it as an inlet of the sea. Another form of the name, "Grandvik", attested in at least one English translation of ''Gesta Danorum'', is likely to be a misspelling. In addition to fish the sea also provides amber, especially from its southern shores within today's borders of
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
and
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
. First mentions of amber deposits on the South Coast of the Baltic Sea date back to the 12th century. The bordering countries have also traditionally exported lumber, Pine tar, wood tar, flax, hemp and furs by ship across the Baltic. Sweden had from early medieval times exported iron and silver mined there, while Poland had and still has extensive salt mines. Thus the Baltic Sea has long been crossed by much merchant shipping. The lands on the Baltic's eastern shore were among the last in Europe to be converted to Christianity. This finally happened during the Northern Crusades:
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
in the twelfth century by Swedes, and what are now
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
and
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
in the early thirteenth century by Danes and Germans (Livonian Brothers of the Sword). The Teutonic Order gained control over parts of the southern and eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, where they set up Monastic state of the Teutonic Knights, their monastic state.
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
was Christianization of Lithuania, the last European state to convert to Christianity.


An arena of conflict

In the period between the 8th and 14th centuries, there was much piracy in the Baltic from the coasts of Pomerania and Prussia, and the Victual Brothers held
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
. Starting in the 11th century, the southern and eastern shores of the Baltic were settled by migrants mainly from
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
, a movement called the ''Ostsiedlung'' ("east settling"). Other settlers were from the Netherlands,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
, and Scotland. The Polabian Slavs were gradually assimilated by the Germans.
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
gradually gained control over most of the Baltic coast, until she lost much of her possessions after being defeated in the 1227 Battle of Bornhöved (1227), Battle of Bornhöved. In the 13th to 16th centuries, the strongest economic force in Northern Europe was the Hanseatic League, a federation of merchant cities around the Baltic Sea and the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
. In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Poland,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
, and
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
fought wars for ''Dominium Maris baltici'' ("Lordship over the Baltic Sea"). Eventually, it was Sweden that Swedish Empire, virtually encompassed the Baltic Sea. In Sweden, the sea was then referred to as ''Mare Nostrum Balticum'' ("Our Baltic Sea"). The goal of Swedish warfare during the 17th century was to make the Baltic Sea an all-Swedish sea (''Ett Svenskt innanhav''), something that was accomplished except the part between Riga in Latvia and Szczecin, Stettin in Pomerania. However, the Dutch Republic, Dutch dominated the Baltic trade in the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth century, Russian Empire, Russia and Prussia became the leading powers over the sea. Sweden's defeat in the Great Northern War brought Russia to the eastern coast. Russia became and remained a dominating power in the Baltic. Russia's Peter I of Russia, Peter the Great saw the strategic importance of the Baltic and decided to found his new capital, Saint Petersburg, at the mouth of the Neva river at the east end of the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
. There was much trading not just within the Baltic region but also with the North Sea region, especially eastern England and the Netherlands: their fleets needed the Baltic timber, tar, flax, and hemp. During the Crimean War, a joint United Kingdom, British and France, French fleet attacked the Russian fortresses in the Baltic; the case is also known as the Åland War. They bombarded Sveaborg, which guards Helsinki; and Kronstadt, Russia, Kronstadt, which guards Saint Petersburg; and they destroyed Bomarsund, Åland, Bomarsund in the
Åland Islands The Åland Islands, or simply Åland (, also , , ; fi, Ahvenanmaa ) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a sm ...

Åland Islands
. After the unification of
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
in 1871, the whole southern coast became German. World War I was partly fought in the Baltic Sea. After 1920
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
was granted access to the Baltic Sea at the expense of Germany by the Polish Corridor and enlarged the port of Gdynia in rivalry with the port of the Free City of Danzig. After the Nazi's rise to power, Germany reclaimed the Memelland and after the outbreak of the Eastern Front (World War II) occupied the Baltic states. In 1945, the Baltic Sea became a mass grave for retreating soldiers and refugees on torpedoed Operation Hannibal, troop transports. The sinking of the ''Wilhelm Gustloff (ship), Wilhelm Gustloff'' remains the worst maritime disaster in history, killing (very roughly) 9,000 people. In 2005, a Russian group of scientists found over five thousand airplane wrecks, sunken warships, and other material, mainly from World War II, on the bottom of the sea.


Since World War II

Since the end of World War II, various nations, including the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States have disposed of Chemical warfare, chemical weapons in the Baltic Sea, raising concerns of environmental contamination. Today, fishermen occasionally find some of these materials: the most recent available report from the Helsinki Commission notes that four small scale catches of chemical munitions representing approximately of material were reported in 2005. This is a reduction from the 25 incidents representing of material in 2003. Until now, the U.S. Government refuses to disclose the exact coordinates of the wreck sites. Deteriorating bottles leak mustard gas and other substances, thus slowly poisoning a substantial part of the Baltic Sea. After 1945, the Flight and expulsion of Germans (1944–1950), German population was expelled from all areas east of the Oder-Neisse line, Ethnic cleansing, making room for new Polish and Russian settlement. Poland Former eastern territories of Germany, gained most of the southern shore. The Soviet Union gained another access to the Baltic with the Kaliningrad Oblast, that had been part of German-settled East Prussia. The Baltic states on the eastern shore were annexed by the Soviet Union. The Baltic then separated opposing military blocs: NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Neutral Sweden developed incident weapons to defend its territorial waters after the Swedish submarine incidents. This border status restricted trade and travel. It ended only after the collapse of the Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. Since May 2004, with the accession of the Baltic states and Poland, the Baltic Sea has been almost entirely surrounded by countries of the European Union (EU). The remaining non-EU shore areas are Russian: the Saint Petersburg area and the Kaliningrad Oblast exclave. Winter storms begin arriving in the region during October. These have caused numerous Shipwreck, shipwrecks, and contributed to the extreme difficulties of rescuing passengers of the ferry ''M/S Estonia'' en route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm, Sweden, in September 1994, which claimed the lives of 852 people. Older, wood-based shipwrecks such as the ''Vasa (ship), Vasa'' tend to remain well-preserved, as the Baltic's cold and brackish water does not suit the shipworm.


Storm floods

Storm surge floods are generally taken to occur when the water level is more than one metre above normal. In Warnemünde about 110 floods occurred from 1950 to 2000, an average of just over two per year. Historic flood events were the All Saints' Flood of 1304 and other floods in the years 1320, 1449, 1625, 1694, 1784 and 1825. Little is known of their extent. From 1872, there exist regular and reliable records of water levels in the Baltic Sea. The highest was the 1872 Baltic Sea flood, flood of 1872 when the water was an average of above sea level at Warnemünde and a maximum of above sea level in Warnemünde. In the last very heavy floods the average water levels reached above sea level in 1904, in 1913, in January 1954, on 2–4 November 1995 and on 21 February 2002.


Geography


Geophysical data

An arm of the North Atlantic Ocean, the Baltic Sea is enclosed by
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
and
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
to the west,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
to the northeast, the Baltic states, Baltic countries to the southeast, and the North European Plain to the southwest. It is about long, an average of wide, and an average of deep. The maximum depth is which is on the Swedish side of the center. The surface area is about and the volume is about . The periphery amounts to about of coastline. The Baltic Sea is one of the largest brackish water, brackish inland seas by area, and occupies a basin (a ''zungenbecken'') formed by glacial erosion during the last few ice ages. Physical characteristics of the Baltic Sea, its main sub-regions, and the transition zone to the Skagerrak/North Sea area


Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Baltic Sea as follows: :Bordered by the coasts of Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, it extends north-eastward of the following limits: :*''In the
Little Belt The Little Belt (, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not n ...
.'' A line joining Nieby, Falshöft () and Vejsnæs Nakke (Ærø: ). :*''In the
Great Belt The Great Belt ( da, Storebælt, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some str ...
.'' A line joining Gulstav (South extreme of
Langeland Langeland (, ) is a Danish island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in_Lower_Saranac_Lake.jpg.ht ...

Langeland
Island) and Kappel Kirke () on Island of Lolland. :*''In the Guldborgsund, Guldborg Sound.'' A line joining Flinthorne-Rev and Skjelby (). :*''In Øresund, the Sound.'' A line joining Stevns Peninsula, Stevns Lighthouse () and Falsterbo, Falsterbo Point ().


Subdivisions

The northern part of the Baltic Sea is known as the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
, of which the northernmost part is the Bay of Bothnia or Bothnian Bay. The more rounded southern basin of the gulf is called Bothnian Sea and immediately to the south of it lies the Sea of Åland. The
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
connects the Baltic Sea with Saint Petersburg. The
Gulf of Riga The Gulf of Riga, Bay of Riga, or Gulf of Livonia ( lv, Rīgas jūras līcis, et, Liivi laht, russian: Рижский залив) is a bay of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the , enclosed by , , , , , , northeast , , and the . ...

Gulf of Riga
lies between the
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
n capital city of Riga and the
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
n island of Saaremaa. The Northern Baltic Sea lies between the Stockholm area, southwestern Finland, and Estonia. The Gotland Basin, Western and Eastern Gotland basins form the major parts of the Central Baltic Sea or Baltic proper. The
Bornholm Bornholm (; non, Burgundaholmr) is a Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people ...

Bornholm
Basin is the area east of Bornholm, and the shallower Cape Arkona, Arkona Basin extends from Bornholm to the Danish isles of Falster and Zealand (Denmark), Zealand. In the south, the Bay of Gdańsk lies east of the Hel Peninsula on the Polish coast and west of the Sambia Peninsula in Kaliningrad Oblast. The Bay of Pomerania lies north of the islands of Usedom, Usedom/Uznam and Wolin, east of Rügen. Between Falster and the German coast lie the Bay of Mecklenburg and Bay of Lübeck. The westernmost part of the Baltic Sea is the
Bay of Kiel The Bay of Kiel or Kiel Bay (, ; ) is a bay in the southwestern Baltic Sea, off the shores of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and the islands of Denmark. It is connected with the Bay of Mecklenburg in the east, the Little Belt in the northwest, an ...
. The three Danish straits, the
Great Belt The Great Belt ( da, Storebælt, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some str ...
, the
Little Belt The Little Belt (, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not n ...
and Öresund, The Sound (''Öresund''/''Øresund''), connect the Baltic Sea with the
Kattegat The Kattegat ( , ; sv, Kattegatt ) is a sea area bounded by the Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Hal ...

Kattegat
and Skagerrak strait in the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
.


Temperature and ice

The water temperature of the Baltic Sea varies significantly depending on exact location, season and depth. At the Bornholm Basin, which is located directly east of the island of the same name, the surface temperature typically falls to during the peak of the winter and rises to during the peak of the summer, with an annual average of around . A similar pattern can be seen in the Gotland Basin, which is located between the island of Gotland and Latvia. In the deep of these basins the temperature variations are smaller. At the bottom of the Bornholm Basin, deeper than , the temperature typically is , and at the bottom of the Gotland Basin, at depths greater than , the temperature typically is . On the long-term average, the Baltic Sea is ice-covered at the annual maximum for about 45% of its surface area. The ice-covered area during such a typical winter includes the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
, the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
, the
Gulf of Riga The Gulf of Riga, Bay of Riga, or Gulf of Livonia ( lv, Rīgas jūras līcis, et, Liivi laht, russian: Рижский залив) is a bay of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the , enclosed by , , , , , , northeast , , and the . ...

Gulf of Riga
, the archipelago west of Estonia, the Stockholm archipelago, and the Archipelago Sea southwest of Finland. The remainder of the Baltic does not freeze during a normal winter, except sheltered bays and shallow lagoons such as the Curonian Lagoon. The ice reaches its maximum extent in February or March; typical ice thickness in the northernmost areas in the Bothnian Bay, the northern basin of the Gulf of Bothnia, is about for landfast sea ice. The thickness decreases farther south. Freezing begins in the northern extremities of the Gulf of Bothnia typically in the middle of November, reaching the open waters of the Bothnian Bay in early January. The Bothnian Sea, the basin south of Kvarken, freezes on average in late February. The Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Riga freeze typically in late January. In 2011, the Gulf of Finland was completely frozen on 15 February. The ice extent depends on whether the winter is mild, moderate, or severe. In severe winters ice can form around southern
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
and even in the Danish straits. According to the 18th-century natural historian William Derham, during the severe winters of 1703 and 1708, the ice cover reached as far as the Danish straits. Frequently, parts of the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland are frozen, in addition to coastal fringes in more southerly locations such as the Gulf of Riga. This description meant that the whole of the Baltic Sea was covered with ice. Since 1720, the Baltic Sea has frozen over entirely 20 times, most recently in early 1987, which was the most severe winter in Scandinavia since 1720. The ice then covered . During the winter of 2010–11, which was quite severe compared to those of the last decades, the maximum ice cover was , which was reached on 25 February 2011. The ice then extended from the north down to the northern tip of
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
, with small ice-free areas on either side, and the east coast of the Baltic Sea was covered by an ice sheet about wide all the way to Gdańsk. This was brought about by a stagnant high-pressure area that lingered over central and northern Scandinavia from around 10 to 24 February. After this, strong southern winds pushed the ice further into the north, and much of the waters north of Gotland were again free of ice, which had then packed against the shores of southern Finland. The effects of the afore-mentioned high-pressure area did not reach the southern parts of the Baltic Sea, and thus the entire sea did not freeze over. However, floating ice was additionally observed near Świnoujście harbor in January 2010. In recent years before 2011, the Bothnian Bay and the Bothnian Sea were frozen with solid ice near the Baltic coast and dense floating ice far from it. In 2008, almost no ice formed except for a short period in March. During winter, fast ice, which is attached to the shoreline, develops first, rendering ports unusable without the services of icebreakers. Level ice, ice sludge, pancake ice, and rafter ice form in the more open regions. The gleaming expanse of ice is similar to the Arctic, with wind-driven pack ice and ridges up to . Offshore of the landfast ice, the ice remains very dynamic all year, and it is relatively easily moved around by winds and therefore forms pack ice, made up of large piles and ridges pushed against the landfast ice and shores. In spring, the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Bothnia normally thaw in late April, with some ice ridges persisting until May in the eastern extremities of the Gulf of Finland. In the northernmost reaches of the Bothnian Bay, ice usually stays until late May; by early June it is practically always gone. However, in the famine year of Famine of 1866-68, 1867 remnants of ice were observed as late as 17 July near Uddskär. Even as far south as
Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is ...
, remnants of ice have been observed in May on several occasions; near Taarbaek on 15 May 1942 and near Copenhagen on 11 May 1771. Drift ice was also observed on 11 May 1799. The ice cover is the main habitat for two large mammals, the grey seal (''Halichoerus grypus'') and the Baltic ringed seal (''Pusa hispida botnica''), both of which feed underneath the ice and breed on its surface. Of these two seals, only the Baltic ringed seal suffers when there is not adequate ice in the Baltic Sea, as it feeds its young only while on ice. The grey seal is adapted to reproducing also with no ice in the sea. The sea ice also harbors several species of algae that live in the bottom and inside unfrozen brine pockets in the ice. Due to the often fluctuating winter temperatures between above and below freezing, the saltwater ice of the Baltic Sea can be treacherous and hazardous to walk on, in particular in comparison to the more stable fresh water-ice sheets in the interior lakes.


Hydrography

The Baltic Sea flows out through the Danish straits; however, the flow is complex. A surface layer of brackish water discharges per year into the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
. Due to the difference in salinity, by salinity permeation principle, a sub-surface layer of more saline water moving in the opposite direction brings in per year. It mixes very slowly with the upper waters, resulting in a salinity gradient from top to bottom, with most of the saltwater remaining below deep. The general circulation is anti-clockwise: northwards along its eastern boundary, and south along with the western one .Alhonen, p. 88 The difference between the outflow and the inflow comes entirely from fresh water. More than 250 streams drain a basin of about , contributing a volume of per year to the Baltic. They include the major rivers of north Europe, such as the Oder, the Vistula, the Neman River, Neman, the Daugava River, Daugava and the Neva. Additional fresh water comes from the difference of precipitation (meteorology), precipitation less evaporation, which is positive. An important source of salty water is infrequent inflows of
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
water into the Baltic. Such inflows are important to the Baltic ecosystem because of the oxygen they transport into the Baltic deeps, used to happen regularly until the 1980s. In recent decades they have become less frequent. The latest four occurred in 1983, 1993, 2003, and 2014 suggesting a new inter-inflow period of about ten years. The water level is generally far more dependent on the regional wind situation than on tidal effects. However, tidal currents occur in narrow passages in the western parts of the Baltic Sea. The significant wave height is generally much lower than that of the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
. Quite violent, sudden storms sweep the surface ten or more times a year, due to large transient temperature differences and a long reach of the wind. Seasonal winds also cause small changes in sea level, of the order of .


Salinity

The Baltic Sea is the world's largest inland
brackish Brackish water, also sometimes termed brack water, is water occurring in a natural environment having more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing seawater (salt water) with fresh water together, as in est ...
sea. Only two List of brackish bodies of water, other brackish waters are larger according to some measurements: The
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
is larger in both surface area and water volume, but most of it is located outside the continental shelf (only a small percentage is inland). The Caspian Sea is larger in water volume, but—despite its name—it is a lake rather than a sea. The Baltic Sea's salinity is much lower than that of ocean water (which averages 3.5%), as a result of abundant freshwater runoff from the surrounding land (rivers, streams and alike), combined with the shallowness of the sea itself; runoff contributes roughly one-fortieth its total volume per year, as the volume of the basin is about and yearly runoff is about . The open surface waters of the Baltic Sea "proper" generally have a salinity of 0.3 to 0.9%, which is border-line freshwater. The flow of freshwater into the sea from approximately two hundred rivers and the introduction of salt from the southwest builds up a gradient of salinity in the Baltic Sea. The highest surface salinities, generally 0.7–0.9%, are in the southwesternmost part of the Baltic, in the Arkona and Bornholm basins (the former located roughly between southeast Zealand and Bornholm, and the latter directly east of Bornholm). It gradually falls further east and north, reaching the lowest in the Bothnian Bay at around 0.3%. Drinking the surface water of the Baltic as a means of survival would actually hydrate the body instead of dehydration, dehydrating, as is the case with ocean water.A healthy serum concentration of sodium is around 0.8–0.85%, and healthy kidneys can concentrate salt in urine to at least 1.4%. As saltwater is denser than freshwater, the bottom of the Baltic Sea is saltier than the surface. This creates a vertical stratification of the water column, a halocline, that represents a barrier to the exchange of
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
and nutrients, and fosters completely separate maritime environments. The difference between the bottom and surface salinities vary depending on location. Overall it follows the same southwest to east and north pattern as the surface. At the bottom of the Arkona Basin (equalling depths greater than ) and Bornholm Basin (depths greater than ) it is typically 1.4–1.8%. Further east and north the salinity at the bottom is consistently lower, being the lowest in Bothnian Bay (depths greater than ) where it is slightly below 0.4%, or only marginally higher than the surface in the same region. In contrast, the salinity of the Danish straits, which connect the Baltic Sea and Kattegat, tends to be significantly higher, but with major variations from year to year. For example, the surface and bottom salinity in the
Great Belt The Great Belt ( da, Storebælt, ) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some str ...
is typically around 2.0% and 2.8% respectively, which is only somewhat below that of the Kattegat. The water surplus caused by the continuous inflow of rivers and streams to the Baltic Sea means that there generally is a flow of brackish water out through the Danish Straits to the Kattegat (and eventually the Atlantic). Significant flows in the opposite direction, salt water from the Kattegat through the Danish Straits to the Baltic Sea, are less regular. From 1880 to 1980 inflows occurred on average six to seven times per decade. Since 1980 it has been much less frequent, although a very large inflow occurred in 2014.


Major tributaries

The rating of Discharge (hydrology), mean discharges differs from the ranking of hydrological lengths (from the most distant source to the sea) and the rating of the nominal lengths. Göta älv, a tributary of the
Kattegat The Kattegat ( , ; sv, Kattegatt ) is a sea area bounded by the Jutland Jutland (; da, Jylland ; german: Jütland ; ang, Ēota land ), known anciently as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula ( la, Cimbricus Chersonesus; da, Den Kimbriske Hal ...

Kattegat
, is not listed, as due to the northward upper low-salinity-flow in the sea, its water hardly reaches the Baltic proper:


Islands and archipelagoes

*
Åland Islands The Åland Islands, or simply Åland (, also , , ; fi, Ahvenanmaa ) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a sm ...

Åland Islands
(
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
, autonomous entity, autonomous) * Archipelago Sea (
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
) ** Pargas ** Nagu ** Korpo ** Houtskär ** Kustavi ** Kimito * Blekinge archipelago (
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
) *
Bornholm Bornholm (; non, Burgundaholmr) is a Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people ...

Bornholm
, including Christiansø (
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
) * Falster (
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
) *
Gotland Gotland (, ; ''Gutland'' in the local dialect), also historically spelled Gottland or Gothland (), is Sweden's largest island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habita ...
(
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
) * Hailuoto (
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
) * Kotlin Island, Kotlin (
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
) * Lolland (
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
) * Kvarken archipelago, including Valsörarna (
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
) * Møn (
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
) * Öland (
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
) * Rügen (
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
) * Stockholm archipelago (
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
) ** Värmdön (
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
) * Usedom or Uznam (split between
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
and
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
) * West Estonian archipelago (
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
): ** Hiiumaa ** Muhu ** Saaremaa ** Vormsi * Wolin (
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
) * Zealand (
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
)


Coastal countries

Countries that border the sea: , , , , , , , , . Countries lands in the outer drainage basin: , , , , . The Baltic Sea drainage basin is roughly four times the surface area of the sea itself. About 48% of the region is forested, with Sweden and Finland containing the majority of the forest, especially around the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland. About 20% of the land is used for agriculture and pasture, mainly in Poland and around the edge of the Baltic Proper, in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. About 17% of the basin is unused open land with another 8% of wetlands. Most of the latter are in the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland. The rest of the land is heavily populated. About 85 million people live in the Baltic drainage basin, 15 million within of the coast and 29 million within of the coast. Around 22 million live in population centers of over 250,000. 90% of these are concentrated in the band around the coast. Of the nations containing all or part of the basin, Poland includes 45% of the 85 million, Russia 12%, Sweden 10% and the others less than 6% each.


Cities

The biggest coastal cities (by population): * Saint Petersburg (Russia) 5,392,992 (metropolitan area 6,000,000) * Stockholm (Sweden) 962,154 (metropolitan area 2,315,612) * Riga (Latvia) 696,567 (metropolitan area 842,000) * Helsinki (Finland) 650,058 (metropolitan area 1,495,271) * Gdańsk (Poland) 462,700 (Tricity, Poland, metropolitan area 1,041,000) * Tallinn (Estonia) 435,245 (metropolitan area 542,983) * Kaliningrad (Russia) 431,500 * Szczecin (Poland) 413,600 (metropolitan area 778,000) * Gdynia (Poland) 255,600 (Tricity, Poland, metropolitan area 1,041,000) * Espoo (Finland) 257,195 (part of Helsinki metropolitan area) * Kiel (Germany) 247,000 * Lübeck (Germany) 216,100 * Rostock (Germany) 212,700 * Klaipėda (Lithuania) 194,400 * Oulu (Finland) 191,050 * Turku (Finland) 180,350 Other important ports: * ''Estonia:'' ** Pärnu 44,568 ** Maardu 16,570 ** Sillamäe 16,567 * ''Finland:'' ** Pori 83,272 ** Kotka 54,887 ** Kokkola 46,809 ** Port of Naantali 18,789 ** Mariehamn 11,372 ** Hanko, Finland, Hanko 9,270 * ''Germany:'' ** Flensburg 94,000 ** Stralsund 58,000 ** Greifswald 55,000 ** Wismar 44,000 ** Eckernförde 22,000 ** Neustadt in Holstein 16,000 ** Wolgast 12,000 ** Sassnitz 10,000 * ''Latvia:'' ** Liepāja 85,000 ** Ventspils 44,000 * ''Lithuania:'' ** Palanga 15,000 * ''Poland:'' ** Kołobrzeg 44,800 ** Świnoujście 41,500 ** Police, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Police 34,284 ** Władysławowo 15,000 ** Darłowo 14,000 * ''Russia:'' ** Vyborg 79,962 ** Baltiysk 34,000 * ''Sweden:'' ** Norrköping 84,000 ** Gävle 75,451 ** Trelleborg 26,000 ** Karlshamn 19,000 ** Oxelösund 11,000


Geology

The Baltic Sea somewhat resembles a riverbed, with two tributaries, the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
and
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
. Geology, Geological surveys show that before the Pleistocene, instead of the Baltic Sea, there was a wide plain around a great river that paleontologists call the Eridanos (geology), Eridanos. Several Pleistocene glaciation, glacial episodes scooped out the river bed into the sea basin. By the time of the last, or Eemian Stage (Marine isotopic stage, MIS 5e), the Eemian Sea was in place. Instead of a true sea, the Baltic can even today also be understood as the common estuary of all rivers flowing into it. From that time the waters underwent a geologic history summarized under the names listed below. Many of the stages are named after marine animals (e.g. the Littorina mollusk) that are clear markers of changing water temperatures and salinity. The factors that determined the sea's characteristics were the submergence or emergence of the region due to the weight of ice and subsequent isostatic readjustment, and the connecting channels it found to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
-Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic, either through the straits of
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
or at what are now the large lakes of
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
, and the
White Sea The White Sea (russian: Белое море, ''Béloye móre''; Karelian language, Karelian and fi, Vienanmeri, lit. Dvina Sea; yrk, Сэрако ямʼ, ''Serako yam'') is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of ...
-Arctic Sea. * Eemian Sea, 130,000–115,000 (Before present, years ago) * Baltic Ice Lake, 12,600–10,300 * Yoldia Sea, 10,300–9500 * Ancylus Lake, 9,500–8,000 * Mastogloia Sea, 8,000–7,500 * Littorina Sea, 7,500–4,000 * Post-Littorina Sea, 4,000–present The land is still emerging isostasy, isostatically from its depressed state, which was caused by the weight of ice during the last glaciation. The phenomenon is known as post-glacial rebound. Consequently, the surface area and the depth of the sea are diminishing. The uplift is about eight millimeters per year on the Finnish coast of the northernmost Gulf of Bothnia. In the area, the former seabed is only gently sloping, leading to large areas of land being reclaimed in what are, geologically speaking, relatively short periods (decades and centuries).


The "Baltic Sea anomaly"

The "Baltic Sea anomaly" refers to interpretations of an indistinct sonar image taken by Swedish salvage divers on the floor of the northern Baltic Sea in June 2011. The treasure hunters suggested the image showed an object with unusual features of seemingly extraordinary origin. Speculation published in Tabloid journalism, tabloid newspapers claimed that the object was a sunken UFO. A consensus of experts and scientists say that the image most likely shows a natural geological formation.Interview of Finnish planetary geomorphologist Jarmo Korteniemi (at 1:10:45) on


Biology


Fauna and flora

The fauna of the Baltic Sea is a mixture of marine and freshwater species. Among marine fishes are Atlantic cod, Atlantic herring, European hake, European plaice, European flounder, shorthorn sculpin and turbot, and examples of freshwater species include European perch, northern pike, Coregonus, whitefish and common roach. Freshwater species may occur at outflows of rivers or streams in all coastal sections of the Baltic Sea. Otherwise marine species dominate in most sections of the Baltic, at least as far north as Gävle, where less than one-tenth are freshwater species. Further north the pattern is inverted. In the Bothnian Bay, roughly two-thirds of the species are freshwater. In the far north of this bay, saltwater species are almost entirely absent. For example, the common starfish and shore crab, two species that are very widespread along European coasts, are both unable to cope with the significantly lower salinity. Their range limit is west of Bornholm, meaning that they are absent from the vast majority of the Baltic Sea. Some marine species, like the Atlantic cod and European flounder, can survive at relatively low salinities but need higher salinities to breed, which therefore occurs in deeper parts of the Baltic Sea. There is a decrease in species richness from the Danish belts to the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
. The decreasing salinity along this path causes restrictions in both physiology and habitats. At more than 600 species of invertebrates, fish, aquatic mammals, aquatic birds and macrophytes, the Arkona Basin (roughly between southeast Zealand and Bornholm) is far richer than other more eastern and northern basins in the Baltic Sea, which all have less than 400 species from these groups, with the exception of the Gulf of Finland with more than 750 species. However, even the most diverse sections of the Baltic Sea have far fewer species than the almost-full saltwater Kattegat, which is home to more than 1600 species from these groups. The lack of tides has affected the marine species as compared with the Atlantic. Since the Baltic Sea is so young there are only two or three known Endemism, endemic species: the brown alga ''Fucus radicans'' and the flounder ''Platichthys solemdali''. Both appear to have evolved in the Baltic basin and were only recognized as species in 2005 and 2018 respectively, having formerly been confused with more widespread relatives. The tiny Parvicardium hauniense, Copenhagen cockle (''Parvicardium hauniense''), a rare mussel, is sometimes considered endemic, but has now been recorded in the Mediterranean. However, some consider non-Baltic records to be misidentifications of juvenile lagoon cockles (''Cerastoderma glaucum''). Several widespread marine species have distinctive subpopulations in the Baltic Sea adapted to the low salinity, such as the Baltic Sea forms of the Atlantic herring and Cyclopterus lumpus, lumpsucker, which are smaller than the widespread forms in the North Atlantic. A peculiar feature of the fauna is that it contains a number of glacial glacial relict, relict species, isolated populations of arctic species which have remained in the Baltic Sea since the last glaciation, such as the large isopod ''Saduria entomon'', the Baltic subspecies of ringed seal, and the fourhorn sculpin. Some of these relicts are derived from glacial lakes, such as ''Monoporeia affinis'', which is a main element in the benthos, benthic fauna of the low-salinity Bothnian Bay. Cetaceans in Baltic Sea have been monitored by the ASCOBANS. Critically endangered populations of Atlantic white-sided dolphins and harbor porpoises inhabit the sea where white-colored porpoises have been recorded, and occasionally oceanic and out-of-range species such as minke whales, bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales, orcas, and beaked whales visit the waters. In recent years, very small, but with increasing rates, fin whales and humpback whales migrate into Baltic sea including mother and calf pair. Now extinct Atlantic grey whales (remains found from Gräsö along Bothnian Sea/southern Bothnian Gulf and Ystad) and eastern population of North Atlantic right whales that is facing functional extinction once migrated into Baltic Sea. Other notable megafauna include the basking sharks.


Environmental status

Satellite images taken in July 2010 revealed a massive algal bloom covering in the Baltic Sea. The area of the bloom extended from Germany and Poland to Finland. Researchers of the phenomenon have indicated that algal blooms have occurred every summer for decades. Fertilizer runoff from surrounding agricultural land has exacerbated the problem and led to increased eutrophication. Approximately of the Baltic's seafloor (a quarter of its total area) is a variable Dead zone (ecology), dead zone. The more saline (and therefore denser) water remains on the bottom, isolating it from surface waters and the atmosphere. This leads to decreased oxygen concentrations within the zone. It is mainly bacteria that grow in it, digesting organic material and releasing hydrogen sulfide. Because of this large anaerobic zone, the seafloor ecology differs from that of the neighboring Atlantic. Plans to artificially oxygenate areas of the Baltic that have experienced eutrophication have been proposed by the University of Gothenburg and Inocean AB. The proposal intends to use wind-driven pumps to inject oxygen (air) into waters at, or around, 130m below sea level. After World War II, Germany had to be disarmed and large quantities of ammunition stockpiles were disposed directly into the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Environmental experts and marine biologists warn that these ammunition dumps pose a major environmental threat with potentially life-threatening consequences to the health and safety of humans on the coastlines of these seas.


Economy

Construction of the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark (completed 1997) and the
Øresund Bridge The Öresund or Øresund Bridge ( da, Øresundsbroen ; sv, Öresundsbron ; hybrid name: ) is a combined Road-rail bridge, railway and motorway bridge across the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark. It is the longest combined List of road ...

Øresund Bridge
-Tunnel (completed 1999), linking Denmark with Sweden, provided a highway and railroad connection between Sweden and the Danish mainland (the Jutland Peninsula, precisely the Zealand). The undersea tunnel of the Øresund Bridge-Tunnel provides for navigation of large ships into and out of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is the main trade route for the export of Russian petroleum. Many of the countries neighboring the Baltic Sea have been concerned about this since a major oil leak in a seagoing tanker would be disastrous for the Baltic—given the slow exchange of water. The tourism industry surrounding the Baltic Sea is naturally concerned about oil pollution. Much shipbuilding is carried out in the shipyards around the Baltic Sea. The largest shipyards are at Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Szczecin, Poland; Kiel, Germany; Karlskrona and
Malmö Malmö (, ; da, Malmø ) is the largest city in the Counties of Sweden, Swedish county (län) of Skåne County, Scania (Skåne). It is the List of urban areas in Sweden by population, third-largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm and Gothenbur ...

Malmö
, Sweden; Rauma, Finland, Rauma, Turku, and Helsinki, Finland; Riga, Ventspils, and Liepāja, Latvia; Klaipėda, Lithuania; and Saint Petersburg, Russia. There are several cargo and passenger ferries that operate on the Baltic Sea, such as Scandlines, Silja Line, Polferries, the Viking Line, Tallink, and Superfast Ferries. Construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link between Denmark and Germany is due to finish in 2029. It will be a three-bore tunnel carrying four motorway lanes and two rail tracks.


Tourism

Piers * Ahlbeck (Usedom),
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
* Heiligendamm,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
* Liepaja,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
* Klaipėda,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
* Gdańsk,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Gdynia,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Kołobrzeg,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Misdroy,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Sopot,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
Resort towns * Haapsalu,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
* Kuressaare,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
* Narva-Jõesuu,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
* Pärnu,
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
* Hanko, Finland, Hanko,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
* Mariehamn,
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
* Ueckermünde,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
* Travemünde,
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
* Jūrmala,
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
* Nida, Lithuania, Nida,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
* Palanga,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
* Kamień Pomorski,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Kołobrzeg,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Sopot,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Świnoujście,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Ustka,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
* Svetlogorsk, Russia, Svetlogorsk,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia


The Helsinki Convention


1974 Convention

For the first time ever, all the sources of pollution around an entire sea were made subject to a single convention, signed in 1974 by the then seven Baltic coastal states. The 1974 Convention entered into force on 3 May 1980.


1992 Convention

In the light of political changes and developments in international environmental and maritime law, a new convention was signed in 1992 by all the states bordering on the Baltic Sea, and the European Community. After ratification, the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, Convention entered into force on 17 January 2000. The Convention covers the whole of the Baltic Sea area, including inland waters and the water of the sea itself, as well as the seabed. Measures are also taken in the whole catchment area of the Baltic Sea to reduce land-based pollution. The convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992, entered into force on 17 January 2000. The governing body of the convention is the HELCOM, Helsinki Commission,Helcom : Welcome
. Helcom.fi. Retrieved on 23 June 2011.
also known as HELCOM, or Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission. The present contracting parties are Denmark, Estonia, the European Community, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. The ratification instruments were deposited by the European Community, Germany, Latvia and Sweden in 1994, by Estonia and Finland in 1995, by Denmark in 1996, by Lithuania in 1997, and by Poland and Russia in November 1999.


See also

* Baltic (disambiguation) * Baltic region * Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) * Council of the Baltic Sea States * List of cities and towns around the Baltic Sea * List of rivers of the Baltic Sea * MS Estonia, Ms ''Estonia'' * MV Wilhelm Gustloff, MS ''Wilhelm Gustloff'' * Nord Stream * Northern Europe * Ports of the Baltic Sea * Scandinavia * SS Cap Arcona (1927), SS ''Cap Arcona''


References


Notes


Citations


Bibliography

*


Further reading


Norbert Götz. “Spatial Politics and Fuzzy Regionalism: The Case of the Baltic Sea Area.” ''Baltic Worlds'' 9 (2016) 3: 54–67.
* Aarno Voipio (ed., 1981): "The Baltic Sea." Elsevier Oceanography Series, vol. 30, Elsevier Scientific Publishing, 418 p, * * *


Historical

* Bogucka, Maria. "The Role of Baltic Trade in European Development from the XVIth to the XVIIIth Centuries". ''Journal of European Economic History'' 9 (1980): 5–20. * Davey, James. ''The Transformation of British Naval Strategy: Seapower and Supply in Northern Europe, 1808–1812'' (Boydell, 2012). * Fedorowicz, Jan K. ''England's Baltic Trade in the Early Seventeenth Century: A Study in Anglo-Polish Commercial Diplomacy'' (Cambridge UP, 2008). * Frost, Robert I. ''The Northern Wars: War, State, and Society in Northeastern Europe, 1558–1721'' (Longman, 2000). * Grainger, John D. ''The British Navy in the Baltic'' (Boydell, 2014). * Kent, Heinz S. K. ''War and Trade in Northern Seas: Anglo-Scandinavian Economic Relations in the Mid Eighteenth Century'' (Cambridge UP, 1973). * Koningsbrugge, Hans van. "In War and Peace: The Dutch and the Baltic in Early Modern Times". ''Tijdschrift voor Skandinavistiek'' 16 (1995): 189–200. * Lindblad, Jan Thomas. "Structural Change in the Dutch Trade in the Baltic in the Eighteenth Century". ''Scandinavian Economic History Review'' 33 (1985): 193–207. * Lisk, Jill. ''The Struggle for Supremacy in the Baltic, 1600–1725'' (U of London Press, 1967). * Roberts, Michael. ''The Early Vasas: A History of Sweden, 1523–1611'' (Cambridge UP, 1968). * Rystad, Göran, Klaus-R. Böhme, and Wilhelm M. Carlgren, eds. ''In Quest of Trade and Security: The Baltic in Power Politics, 1500–1990.'' Vol. 1, 1500–1890. Stockholm: Probus, 1994. * Salmon, Patrick, and Tony Barrow, eds. ''Britain and the Baltic: Studies in Commercial, Political and Cultural Relations'' (Sunderland University Press, 2003). * Stiles, Andrina. ''Sweden and the Baltic 1523–1721'' (1992). * Thomson, Erik. "Beyond the Military State: Sweden's Great Power Period in Recent Historiography". ''History Compass'' 9 (2011): 269–283. * Tielhof, Milja van. The "Mother of All Trades": The Baltic Grain Trade in Amsterdam from the Late 16th to Early 19th Century. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2002. * Warner, Richard. "British Merchants and Russian Men-of-War: The Rise of the Russian Baltic Fleet". In Peter the Great and the West: New Perspectives. Edited by Lindsey Hughes, 105–117. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.


External links


The Baltic Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak – sea areas and draining basins, poster with integral information by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute



Protect the Baltic Sea while it's still not too late.

The Baltic Sea Portal
– a site maintained by the (FIMR) (in English, Finnish, Swedish and Estonian)
www.balticnest.org




in the Baltic
How the Baltic Sea was changing
– Prehistory of the Baltic from th
Polish Geological Institute


– more prehistory of the Baltic from th
Department of Geography
of the University of Helsinki
Baltic Environmental Atlas: Interactive map of the Baltic Sea region



List of all ferry lines in the Baltic Sea

The Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)
HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area"
Baltice.org
– information related to winter navigation in the Baltic Sea.
Baltic Sea Wind
– Marine weather forecasts
Ostseeflug
– A short film (55'), showing the coastline and the major German cities at the Baltic sea. {{Authority control Baltic Sea, Baltic region Seas of the Atlantic Ocean European seas Geography of Northern Europe Geography of Scandinavia Seas of Germany Federal waterways in Germany Seas of Russia Seas of Denmark Bodies of water of Estonia Bodies of water of Finland Bodies of water of Lithuania Bodies of water of Poland Bodies of water of Sweden Bodies of water of Kaliningrad Oblast Bodies of water of Leningrad Oblast Bodies of water of Saint Petersburg Ecoregions of Denmark Ecoregions of Estonia Ecoregions of Finland Ecoregions of Germany Ecoregions of Latvia Ecoregions of Lithuania Ecoregions of Poland Ecoregions of Russia Ecoregions of Sweden Articles containing video clips