The morphometry of the Black Sea (4)
  The seafloor is divided into the shelf, the continental slope and the deep-sea depression.
  The shelf, or continental shoal, is the direct continuation of dry land which has been covered by the sea. It now occupies a large area in the north-western part of the Black Sea, where the shelf is over 200 km wide with as depth ranging from 0 to 100 m, and even reaching 160 m in some places. In other parts of the sea it has a depth of less than 100 m and a width of 2.2 to 15 km. Near the Caucasian and Anatolian coasts the shelf is only a narrow intermittent strip.
  The north-western shelf zone comprises the southern part of the East-European Palaeozoic and Epipalaeozoic Scythian platform. It has a very slight incline and a flat plain abrasion accumulative relief.
  The shelf along the Crimean, the Caucasian and Anatolian coasts predominantly consists of an abrasion type of relief, with Meso-Cenozoic folded formations that have been heavily eroded in places.
  Underwater valleys and canyons make the even, flat relief of the shelf more complex. Most are winding with well defined slopes, especially on the periphery of the shelf on the edge of the continental slope. The majority are sea extensions of the adjacent river valleys.
  The underwater extensions of the Danube, the Dniester, the Dnieper river valleys of and the Southern Bug are on the north-western shelf, a long distance out to sea, approximately 100-120 km from the coast. There are also submarine canyons belonging to rivers such as the Bzyb, the Mzymta, the Rioni and the Coruh near the Caucasian coast. Well-defined underwater canyons belonging to rivers such as the Yesilirmak, the Kizilirmak and the Karasu can be found near the Anatolian shore. (Black Sea bathymetry).
  Submarine terraces, submarine swells in different directions separated by depressions, can be found in different parts of the Black Sea shelf zone. These are the result of changes in the sea level that have occurred at different geological times following tectonic movements in the Earth's crust.
  The shelf becomes a rather steep continental slope, descending at an average angle of 5-8 in the north-western part and 1-3 near the Kerch Strait . In some sections the gradient reaches 20-30.
  A network of submarine ridges over 150 km long runs almost parallel to the coast between Sinop and Samsun. The largest submarine ridge lies 60-75 km off shore and is separated from the coast by a series of submarine depressions. The continental slope is also crossed by submarine valleys and canyons. Earthquake epicentres tend to be located on continental slopes and landslides are quite common in these areas.
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