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Hydrological and hydrodynamic studies and predictions of the Caspian sea water level rise - impact of climate factors and man's activities


Foreseen Results

The results obtained will be available, for planning of national and regional economies in the Caspian countries, for the design and operation of projects aimed at ecologically sound management of land and water resources in the Caspian sea itself, along its coastal fringe, and in its catchment area including the Volga river.
The project partners are research institutes and private research company representing two NIS countries (Russia and Turkmenistan) ant three EU members ( France, Germany and United Kingdom) with a balanced input from NIS and EU.
The projects results will be made available to a wide , international scientific community both through dissemination of the deliverables (reports) and via access to the data concerning the Caspian sea.
A significant rise of the water level in the Caspian sea since 1978 was accompanied by inundation of large areas and by a rise in the water table, which resulted in a disastrous situation in the Caspian sea basin. Experts differ both about why this phenomenon has occurred and about the future course of events.

The proposed project aims at the understanding of numerous hydro-meteorological factors involved, without which effective protection of the population on the coastal areas and of their environment are impossible. The project outlines multi-disciplinary approaches to :

detailed water balance study of the Caspian sea;
study of water exchange within the sea basin and
the hydrology of the Volga River (80 % of the inflow to the sea)

These studies are directed at an elucidation of the reasons for the present sea level rise and an assessment of the most probable sea level trends over the next 10 to 20 years. The project will also consider the possible consequences of climate change and global warming. To achieve these aims the project includes linked hydrological and hydrodynamical models to describe the physical processes driving the phenomenon. Future trends in the water balance components of the Caspian sea will be investigated applying combined physical and statistical methods to hydro-thermodynamical mathematical models of water exchange processes in the "atmosphere - land surface" and "atmosphere - sea surface" sub-systems.

The project will investigate the effects of possible man-made changes to the use of land in a selected sub-basin of the Volga river basin.
This part of the project is based on an analysis of the recently available remote sensing data, a particularly valuable transfer of technology.

Various scenarios of the climate conditions in the sea basin will be made using innovative probabilistic approach. The climate scenarios will be developed from the output of General Circulation Models developed in Germany, UK and USA as well as paleoclimate prototypes developed in Russia.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Not available

Participants (4)

Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources
23,Second Lane
199053 St Petersburg
Ministry of Nature Use and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan
81,Azadi Street
744000 Ashgabat
United Kingdom
Maclean Building, Crowmarsh Gifford
OX10 8BB Wallingford
150,Universitaetsstrasse 150
44780 Bochum