Blooms in the Sea of Marmara: Freshened surface water and abundant nutrients lead to an explosion of algae in
Situated between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara is full of a rich soup of nutrients and life and surrounded by a rich history of civilization. Like the Black Sea to its northeast, the Marmara has an unusual layered structure with fresher water near the surface and much saltier water near the bottom. That fresh surface is fed by exchanges with the Black Sea and by flows from the Susurluk, Biga, and Gonen Rivers. The fresh water (just two thirds the salinity of the ocean) makes it easier for floating, plant-like organisms—phytoplankton —to grow, as does the abundance of nutrients pouring into the seas from European and Turkish rivers.