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During the Ottoman Empire period, the Black Sea was called either Bahr-e Siyah or Karadeniz, both meaning "the Black Sea" in the Ottoman Turkish.It is worthy to note, that in the tenth-century geography book Hudud al-'Alam, written in the Persian language by an unknown author, the Black Sea is called "Georgian Sea", "Sea of Georgians" ("daryä-yi Gurziyan").Mediterranean water flows into the Black Sea as part of a two-way hydrological exchange.The Black Sea outflow is cooler and less saline, and floats over the warm, more saline Mediterranean inflow – as a result of differences in density caused by differences in salinity – leading to a significant anoxic layer well below the surface waters.Old Georgian sources of 9th–14th centuries ("The Georgian Chronicles") were using the name "Speris Zğua" (სპერის ზღუა), which means "The Sea of Speri", after the name of Kartvelian tribe Speris or Saspers, now in Turkey.The modern names of the Black Sea (Chyornoye more, Karadeniz, etc.), stretch only back to the 13th century.
The southern edge around Turkey and the eastern edge around Georgia, however, are typified by a narrow shelf that rarely exceeds 20 km (12 mi) in width and a steep apron that is typically gradient with numerous submarine canyons and channel extensions.These waters separate Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Western Asia.The Black Sea is also connected to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch. Due to these variations in the water level in the basin, the surrounding shelf and associated aprons have sometimes been land.Important cities along the coast include Batumi, Burgas, Constanța, Giresun, Istanbul, Kerch, Novorossiysk, Odessa, Ordu, Poti, Rize, Samsun, Sevastopol, Sochi, Sukhumi, Trabzon, Varna, Yalta, and Zonguldak.
The Black Sea has a positive water balance; that is, a net outflow of water 300 km (72 cu mi) per year through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles into the Aegean Sea.The Euxine abyssal plain in the centre of the Black Sea reaches a maximum depth of 2,212 metres (7,257.22 feet) just south of Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula.