About Adriatic Sea, facts and maps

The Adriatic Sea (/ˌeɪdriˈætɪk/) is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkan Peninsula. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto (where it connects to the Ionian Sea) to the northwest and the Po Valley. The countries with coasts on the Adriatic are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, and Slovenia.

The origins of the name Adriatic are linked to the Etruscan settlement of Adria, which probably derives its name from Illyrian adur ‘water, sea’. In classical antiquity, the sea was known as Mare Adriaticum (Mare Hadriaticum, also sometimes simplified to Adria) or, less frequently, as Mare Superum ‘[the] upper sea’. The two terms were not synonymous, however. Mare Adriaticum generally corresponds to the Adriatic Sea’s extent, spanning from the Gulf of Venice to the Strait of Otranto. That boundary became more consistently defined by Roman authors – early Greek sources place the boundary between the Adriatic and Ionian seas at various places ranging from adjacent to the Gulf of Venice to the southern tip of the Peloponnese, eastern shores of Sicily and western shores of Crete. Mare Superum on the other hand normally encompassed both the modern Adriatic Sea and the sea off the Apennine peninsula’s southern coast, as far as the Strait of Sicily. Another name used in the period was Mare Dalmaticum, applied to waters off the coast of Dalmatia or Illyricum. During the early modern period, the entire sea was also known as the Gulf of Venice (Italian: golfo di Venezia), although that name is now informally applied only to the northern area of the sea, from Maestra Point in the Po Delta to Cape Kamenjak on the Istrian Peninsula.

Croatia borders the Adriatic Sea. But other countries with the Adriatic coast include Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea. Also known as Jadransko in Croatian, the Adriatic Sea was named after an ancient port, Adria, in what is now Northern Italy. It extends from the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea and is noted for its warm temperatures and calm currents.

Adriatic Sea, Italian Mare Adriatico, Bosnian, Croatian, and Montenegrin Jadransko More, Albanian Deti i Adriatikut, arm of the Mediterranean Sea, lying between the Italian and Balkan peninsulas. The Strait of Otranto at its southeasterly limit links it with the Ionian Sea.

The Adriatic contains more than 1,300 islands, mostly located along the Croatian part of its eastern coast. It is divided into three basins, the northern being the shallowest and the southern being the deepest, with a maximum depth of 1,233 metres (4,045 ft). The Otranto Sill, an underwater ridge, is located at the border between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The prevailing currents flow counterclockwise from the Strait of Otranto, along the eastern coast and back to the strait along the western (Italian) coast. Tidal movements in the Adriatic are slight, although larger amplitudes are known to occur occasionally. The Adriatic’s salinity is lower than the Mediterranean’s because the Adriatic collects a third of the fresh water flowing into the Mediterranean, acting as a dilution basin. The surface water temperatures generally range from 30 °C (86 °F) in summer to 12 °C (54 °F) in winter, significantly moderating the Adriatic Basin’s climate.

The Adriatic Sea sits on the Apulian or Adriatic Microplate, which separated from the African Plate in the Mesozoic era. The plate’s movement contributed to the formation of the surrounding mountain chains and Apennine tectonic uplift after its collision with the Eurasian plate. In the Late Oligocene, the Italian Peninsula first formed, separating the Adriatic Basin from the rest of the Mediterranean. All types of sediment are found in the Adriatic, with the bulk of the material transported by the Po and other rivers on the western coast. The western coast is alluvial or terraced, while the eastern coast is highly indented with pronounced karstification. There are dozens of marine protected areas in the Adriatic, designed to protect the sea’s karst habitats and biodiversity. The sea is abundant in flora and fauna—more than 7,000 species are identified as native to the Adriatic, many of them endemic, rare and threatened ones.

The Adriatic’s shores are populated by more than 3.5 million people; the largest cities are Bari, Venice, Trieste and Split. The earliest settlements on the Adriatic shores were Etruscan, Illyrian, and Greek. By the 2nd century BC, the shores were under Rome’s control. In the Middle Ages, the Adriatic shores and the sea itself were controlled, to a varying extent, by a series of states—most notably the Byzantine Empire, the Croatian Kingdom, the Republic of Venice, the Habsburg monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. The Napoleonic Wars resulted in the First French Empire gaining coastal control and the British effort to counter the French in the area, ultimately securing most of the eastern Adriatic shore and the Po Valley for Austria. Following Italian unification, the Kingdom of Italy started an eastward expansion that lasted until the 20th century. Following World War I and the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, the entire eastern coast’s control passed to Yugoslavia and Albania, except for Trieste and surrounding area which remained under Italian control. The former disintegrated during the 1990s, resulting in four new states on the Adriatic coast. Italy and Yugoslavia agreed on their maritime boundaries by 1975 and this boundary is recognised by Yugoslavia’s successor states, but the maritime boundaries between Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro are still disputed. Italy and Albania agreed on their maritime boundary in 1992.

Fisheries and tourism are significant sources of income all along the Adriatic coast. Adriatic Croatia’s tourism industry has grown faster economically than the rest of the Adriatic Basin’s. Maritime transport is also a significant branch of the area’s economy—there are 19 seaports in the Adriatic that each handle more than a million tonnes of cargo per year. The largest Adriatic seaport by annual cargo turnover is the Port of Trieste, while the Port of Split is the largest Adriatic seaport by passengers served per year.

Is Adriatic Sea warm?

In the spring, the sea becomes warmer and the surface temperature rises to 18°C. In the summer the surface of the sea reaches a high average temperature of 22 to 25°C, and in the southern Adriatic and Istria up to 27°C.

Why is the Adriatic Sea so salty?

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It is rich in mineral salts, plankton and algae. Water in the Adriatic changes every 5-10 years, while in the Mediterranean it takes 70-100 years for the water to change.

Why does the Adriatic Sea not freeze?

As the lowest SST is well above zero, the conditions needed for seawater to freeze are on average not fulfilled. Air temperatures in the coastal areas surrounding the northern Adriatic Sea during the winter months vary between 5° and 10°C.

Do whales live in the Adriatic Sea?

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Fin whales are present seasonally in the central and southern Adriatic. The long-finned pilot whale, false killer whale and humpback whale present rare visitors to the Adriatic Sea.

Is the Adriatic Sea polluted?

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Microplastic pollution in the Adriatic Sea has been demonstrated in all abiotic compartments, including beaches, surface waters, sediments and biota.

Is the Adriatic Sea salt or freshwater?

With known salty areas such as Pag, you would expect the Adriatic sea to be very salty, and it is. However, over the years, it has become even saltier, as the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) stated.

Which sea is warmer Adriatic or Mediterranean?

Adriatic sea: around 23-24 °C, except alomng most of the Croatian coast where temperatures are down to 21-23 °C (locally in the Kvarner bay even down to 19 °C). Ionian and central Mediterranean sea: is around 23-25 °C.

What is the issue with the Adriatic Sea?

Overfishing, bottom trawling, pollution, and climate change are seriously threatening the biodiversity of the Adriatic.

What kinds of sharks live in the Adriatic Sea?

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​Sharks in the Adriatic Sea

Blue shark (Prionace glauca), Common thresher(Alopias vulpinus), Small-spotted catshark(lat. Scyliorhinus canicula, Starry smoothhound (Mustelus asterias), Spiny dogfish(Squalus acanthias) and Shortfin mako shark(Isurus oxyrinchus) are the most common.

Which city is known as city of Adriatic?

Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”.

What is the Adriatic Sea myth?

One of the more famous myths that has connections to the Adriatic Sea and its coast is the myth about the Argonauts, men in Greek mythology who accompanied Jason on his journey towards Colchis in order to acquire the Golden fleece.

Which 5 countries pollute the ocean the most?

These countries are the biggest contributors to marine plastic pollution – new analysis

  • China (21.5 billion kg)
  • Brazil (10.6 billion kg)
  • Indonesia (9.1 billion kg)
  • Russian Federation (8.4 billion kg)
  • Germany (6.6 billion kg)
  • United Kingdom (6.4 billion kg)
  • Mexico (5.9 billion kg)
  • Japan (4.8 billion kg)