Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea is the world's largest enclosed body of water located on the Eurasia. The coastline is 5,970 km, of which 2,320 km belong to Kazakhstan.

The region of the Caspian Sea adjacent to the shores of Kazakhstan is naturally divided into two parts: the eastern part of the North Caspian and the eastern part of the Middle Caspian. The eastern part of the North Caspian is shallow with a low coast and small slopes of the bottom. Here the average depth is 2 m, and the maximum, in the region of the Ural Furrow, is 8...10 m. The bottom relief is complicated by the presence of cans, islands, grooves. It is a semi-closed body of water, the hydrological regime of which is formed in a continental, arid climate and is determined by the runoff of the Ural and Volga rivers. It is practically isolated from the direct influence of the waters of the Middle Caspian. The eastern part of the middle is deepwater. The average depth is 200 m and the maximum is up to 700 m.

The Caspian Sea and its watershed are of great importance for the economies of the countries of the Caspian region, including Kazakhstan. This is a unique reservoir with diverse flora and fauna in the bowels of which significant hydrocarbon reserves are concentrated. The socio-economic development in the coastal zone is significantly affected by the hydrometeorological regime of the sea and the coastal territory, and above all, the position of the sea level surface.

Water level of the Caspian Sea, as a closed body of water, in contrast to sea level fluctuations, is subject to significant long-term, interannual and seasonal fluctuations.

Department of Hydrometeorological Research of the Caspian Sea

The main tasks are:

  • Methodological guidance on organizing and conducting hydrometeorological monitoring of the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea.
  • Development of marine forecasting methods and regulatory documents.
  • Issuing short-term, medium-term, specialized marine forecasts, as well as long-term forecasts of fluctuations in the level surface of the Caspian Sea, surveys of overtaking phenomena and ice conditions in the Caspian Sea.
  • Acquisition and maintenance of a database of operational data on the main hydrometeorological characteristics of the Caspian Sea and the Caspian region.
  • Carrying out research work on the hydrometeorological problems of the Caspian Sea and the Caspian region.
  • Participation in international projects on the problems of the Caspian Sea.

Applicable Methods:

Calculation of surface level and wind currents is carried out using Danish technology MIKE 21, adapted to the conditions of the Caspian Sea, based on numerical forecasts of wind fields and atmospheric pressure obtained in accordance with the license agreement with the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (Great Britain), as well as information coming from Kazakhstan stations and posts and stations of interstate exchange.

Predictions of the wave environment are made using the statistical method of predicting the waves, as well as based on the wave spectral model SWAN, adapted to the conditions of the Caspian Sea. The wind field data from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts with a grid pitch of 0.25 ° to 0.25 ° are used as input parameters.

The forecast of driving-surge situations is based on the developed hazard criteria.

Studies of the hydrometeorological regime are carried out using traditional statistical and hydrological methods.


  • Forecasts of hourly fluctuations of the Caspian Sea level with a lead time of 120 hours for any region at the request of the customer in tabular and graphical form.
  • Wave forecasts for various sections of the Caspian Sea in tabular or graphical form.
  • Caspian Weekly Newsletter. It includes a forecast of sea level for 5 days at various points, maximum, minimum, average water levels and graphs of the sea level for the forecast period, as well as a forecast of overtaking phenomena with an indication of their location and timing. In winter, a description of the ice situation on the Caspian Sea. The bulletin contains a satellite image received from the NOAA or MODIS station. A description is also given of the state of the water surface for the previous period.
  • Weekly Caspian Sea Wave Newsletter. Includes a forecast of wave height and period, as well as wind speed and direction in various parts of the Caspian Sea.
  • Weekly ice surveys on the Caspian Sea. A satellite image is placed, a general description and a table with the main elements of the ice regime according to Russian and Kazakh stations and posts.
  • Information on the hydrometeorological regime (sea level, waves, ice conditions, water and air temperature, currents, wind).
  • Probabilistic characteristics of the basic elements of the hydrometeorological regime of the Caspian Sea.
  • Results of studies of the state of the Caspian Sea in various regions of the Kazakhstan sector of the Caspian Sea and major ports.

The number of forecasting points and their location may vary at the request of the customer.

HR potential

The management staff has many years of experience in interdisciplinary research on the Caspian problem, including electronic mapping, hydrometeorological surveys, modeling the processes of unrest and flooding of the Caspian Sea coast. Specialists underwent an internship at the Danish Hydraulic Institute for monitoring and modeling of hydrodynamic processes and improved their qualifications in the training centers of WMO, UNESCO, IOC and others. The department has a specialist with a PhD degree, two specialists are trained in doctoral studies at the Russian State Medical University (St. Petersburg, Russia) and KazNU named after Al-Farabi (Almaty, Kazakhstan). The department is headed by a candidate of geographical sciences with a degree in Geoecology.