physical and economic


Industrial revolution & global domination of European countries

Once both manufacturing and transportation now relied on steam power, and gasoline and electric motors. Europe was in a position to dominate global trade & politics, colonies were natural conclusion followed by exploitation leading to faster growth & development in Europe. Almost all continents had been colonized by the beginning of 20th century.

In 1990, the EU economy accounted for 25.5% of global GDP or 39.2% of the GDP of the world's big economic players (EU, Arab countries, China, India, Japan and USA). 25 years on, in 2014, the EU's share has fallen to 17% and 25.6% respectively. In 1990, the EU's GDP equalled 128% of US GDP; by 2014, it has decreased to 106%.


Maastricht Treaty

The Treaty on European Union, commonly known as the Maastricht Treaty, created the

European Union (EU). Treaty concluded in 1992 between the then-twelve member states of the European Communities has increased to 27 with Britain in the process of leaving the union. European Union (EU) has provided for a common European citizenship, a single currency, and for common foreign and security policies.

Resources and power

Mineral resources

Europe has almost all minerals but is deficient in most with exception of —Russia and Ukraine apart—is heavily dependent on mineral imports.

COAL -  Europe commands abundant resources of hard and soft coal, which remains of considerable, if declining, importance as a fuel for the smelting of minerals and as the source of many by-products. Only exceptionally does northern Europe have coal measures of commercial scale, but coal seams are preserved in Hercynian basins throughout the continent, lying diagonally across Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France (especially in Lorraine), Germany (particularly in North Rhine–Westphalia, Saarland, and Saxony), Poland (Silesia), and Ukraine (the Donets Basin). There are numerous fields, small but often of great locational value. Some, as in southwestern Scotland and southern Belgium, have been worked out or have become uneconomic. Major reserves, encompassing mostly hard deposits of coking, anthracite, and steam coal, lie in the German Ruhr, the United Kingdom, and Upper Silesia. Softer brown coal, or lignite, occurs in Germany and the Chomutov fields of the Czech Republic.

Petroleum and natural gas- Known petroleum and natural gas reserves are inadequate for Europe’s rising requirements. European Russia contains the large Volga-Ural field, while Romania has reserves in the Carpathian and Subcarpathian zones. Norway and the United Kingdom have tapped gas and oil from beneath the North Sea bed. In the late 1980s Romania began extracting oil from the Black Sea. Other undersea petroleum resources may exist in the far northern Atlantic Ocean and in the Aegean Sea.



Sources of uranium for use in nuclear reactors have been discovered in many European countries, including France (centred on the Massif Central), Spain, Hungary (the Mecsek Mountains), Estonia, and Ukraine. In lesser amounts, other sources have been found in parts of central and eastern Europe. Europe was among the first to successfully push for nuclear energy.

Iron ores

Large iron reserves were historically found at Kryvy Rih in Ukraine and at Magnitogorsk and in the Kursk region in Russia. High-quality ores (of 60 percent iron), however, have been exhausted or have become expensive to mine. The Kursk Magnetic Anomaly, located in southwestern Russia, has iron-rich quartzites. Sweden is another producer of iron ore, notably in the Kiruna region. Deposits in other European countries are small and for the most part inadequate for large-scale heavy industry.




The Caspian Sea is considered by many to be the largest lake in the world, lake or sea, it is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth with an area of 371,000 km² (without the Garabogazköl Bay), compared, the Caspian Sea is larger than Germany or somewhat smaller than the US state of Montana.

The Caspian Sea is situated about 500 km east of the Black Sea, between southeastern Europe and Western Asia, east of the Caucasus Mountains, south of the vast Eurasian Steppe, and west of the Karakum and Kyzylkum Deserts of Central Asia. Five countries have a shoreline at the sea, Iran and four former Soviet republics (until 1991), Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan, some of the world’s most repressive countries.

The Caspian Sea lies within a land depression, it is actually the lowest natural point in Eurasia, the surface of the sea is about 21 m below mean sea level. The sea is completely isolated, there is no connection to other oceans. The main feeder is the Volga River (80% of the Caspian's inflow), other inflows are the Ural River, the Kura, and the Terek River. There is no discharge by any river, water leaves the sea only by evaporation.

The Caspian Sea is known as the source for Beluga Caviar, which comes from the critically endangered beluga sturgeon.

The sea is also known for its abundance of energy resources (oil and natural gas reserves in offshore fields and onshore on the coast of the sea), all states at the Caspian exploit the reserves in cooperation with international oil companies. But much of the offshore oil and natural gas resources in the Caspian Sea have not been tapped, as there are conflicts between the five bordering states over where to demarcate the maritime borders and how to split up the energy resources.



There are six countries with coastlines on the Black Sea (clockwise), Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey (Türkiye), Bulgaria, and Romania.
The Black Sea (without the Sea of Azov) has a surface area of 436,400 km², which is somewhat larger than Germany

europe map
europe map


An estimated 16 to 17 million people live in the coastal regions of the Black Sea.

Detailed Map of the Black Sea

Large-scale movements of the Earth's crust uplifted the mountain ranges that divided the ancient Tethys Ocean into several water basins, such as the Paratethys Ocean. The megalake of the late Miocene was probably the largest lake in Earth's history and extended from the region east of the Alps across Central Europe to Central Asia. Its remnants include the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea.

Ancient Silk Road
When Marco Polo traveled the Silk Road in the 13th century, the trade route had already existed for more than a thousand years. Marco Polo used the Black Sea route on his return trip from China to visit Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Unique features of the Black Sea

  • The Black Sea is a major body of water that has only one outlet, the Bosporus Strait. The Bosporus, an approximately 30 km (20 mi) long waterway, connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean Sea (via the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles Strait).
  • The Black Sea is one of several seas named after a color.
  • Due to an extended continental shelf, the northern part of the Black Sea is relatively shallow, with depths of up to 200 meters.
    The Euxine Abyssal Plain of the Black Sea is a shallow seabed area with depths ranging from 2,000 to 2,200 m. The deepest measured point of the Black Sea at 2,216 m is located south of Yalta (Crimea).
    In contrast, the adjacent Sea of Azov, connected to the Black Sea by the Strait of Kerch, is the shallowest sea in the world, with a maximum depth of barely 15 meters.
  • The Black Sea is connected to the Mediterranean Sea by two narrow straits, the Bosporus, which opens to the Sea of Marmara (Turkey), and the Dardanelles Strait (Strait of Gallipoli), which connects to the Aegean Sea. From there, the Suez Canal through the Red Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar provide access to the major shipping lanes of the world's oceans.
  • The Istanbul Canal is a canal planned by the Turkish government for shipping. It is to run parallel to the Bosporus in the western part of Istanbul and connect the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.


The Black Sea lies at the confluence between Europe and Asia, bounded by the relatively flat Eastern Balkans to the west, the East European Plain (Russian Plain) to the north and northwest, the mountainous Caucasus to the east, and the Anatolian Peninsula, also known as Asia Minor, to the south.

From West to East, from the Bulgarian beaches near Burgas to the coast of Georgia, which is about the widest part of the Black Sea, it is 1,150 km (720 miles).
The distance from the Ukrainian port city of Odesa to the Bosphorus Strait in the south is about 600 km (370 mi). The distance from the southern tip of Crimea to the coast of Kastamonu province (Turkey) is 265 km (165 miles).

CRIMEAN PENINSULA -One of the major geographical features of the Black Sea is the Crimean Peninsula, which would almost be an island if it were not connected to the mainland by the narrow Isthmus of Perekop. At 27,000 km², Crimea is about the size of Massachusetts or slightly larger than the state of Israel.


The Black Sea receives water from a 2-million-square-kilometer drainage basin that covers about one-third of the area of mainland Europe.

Several large rivers flow into the Black Sea, such as the Danube, the Dnieper, the Dniester, the Southern Bug, the Russian Don and the Kuban rivers, Western Georgia's Rioni river, and the Turkish Kızılırmak and Sakarya rivers.

A system of inland waterways, the Unified Deep Water System of European Russia (UDWS), connects the Black Sea with the Caspian Sea, the Baltic Sea and the White Sea.
The Black Sea is connected to the North Sea via the Danube and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal.


lies between Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the main body of the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian Sea in the north. It is more than 970 kilometres (600 mi) long and 580 kilometres (360 mi) wide, covering 570,000 square kilometres (220,000 sq mi).

The Dogger Bank, a vast moraine, or accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris, rises to a mere 15 to 30 m (50 to 100 ft) below the surface. This feature has produced the finest fishing location of the North Sea.






Including the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland covers an area of 377,000 km2 (146,000 sq mi), making it somewhat larger than Germany. Approximately 85 million people live in the larger Baltic Sea region and use the sea for various purposes .
There are nine countries with a shoreline at the Baltic Sea: Denmark, Germany, Poland, Russia (at the Gulf of Finland, and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast), Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Sweden.

Top of page