Geography of Mediterranean Sea


QUESTION ASKED IN UPSC EXAM ON-Geography of Mediterranean Sea

UPSC 2017

QUES 1.  Mediterranean Sea is a border of which of the following countries?

1 . Jordan
2 . Iraq
3 . Lebanon
4 . Syria
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 3 and 4 only

Answer (c)

UPSC 2015

QUES 2 . Which one of the following countries of South-West Asia does not open out to the Mediterranean Sea?

(a) Syria
(b) Jordan
(c) Lebanon
(d) Israel

Solution: (b)

The Mediterranean Sea.

Mediterranean Sea, an intercontinental sea that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to Asia on the east and separates Europe from Africa. It has often been called the incubator of Western civilization.


This ancient “sea between the lands” occupies a deep, elongated, and almost landlocked irregular depression lying between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 5°50′ W and 36° E.

Its west-east extent—from the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco to the shores of the Gulf of Iskenderun on the southwestern coast of Turkey—is approximately 4,000 km, and its average north-south extent, between Croatia’s southernmost shores and Libya, is about 800 km.

Strait of Gibraltar- connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain from Morocco .


The Mediterranean Sea, including the Sea of Marmara, occupies an area of approximately 2,510,000 square km.


The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m  and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m  in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea.


The Mediterranean Sea is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the Strait of Gibraltar  in the west and to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, by the Dardanelles and the Bosporus respectively, in the east. The Sea of Marmara (Dardanelles) is often considered a part of the Mediterranean Sea, whereas the Black Sea is generally not. The 163 km long artificial Suez Canal in the southeast connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

Important Islands

Large islands in the Mediterranean include Cyprus, Crete,  Rhodes, Andros , Sicily, Cres, Malta , Sardinia, Corsica, Balearic , Majorca and  Menorca .


Tides are very limited as a result of the narrow connection with the Atlantic Ocean.

Temperature and Salinity

Evaporation greatly exceeds precipitation and river runoff in the Mediterranean . Evaporation is especially high in its eastern half, causing the water level to decrease and salinity to increase eastward. The western basin has a temperature of 12 °C in winter and 23 °C in summer, its salinity is 36‰ , while the eastern basin is warmer and more salty, it temperature is 16 °C in winter and 26-29 °C in summer, its salinity is 39‰ .

Coastal countries

Image result for Mediterranean Sea

The following countries have a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea:

Northern shore (from west to east): Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece and Turkey.
Eastern shore (from north to south): Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel.
Southern shore (from west to east): Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt.
Island nations: Malta, Cyprus.

Several other territories also border the Mediterranean Sea (from west to east): The British overseas territory of Gibraltar, the Spanish autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla and nearby islands, the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

Coastal cities

Country                  Cities
Algeria                     Algiers, Oran
Egypt                       Alexandria, Port Said
France                      Marseille
Greece                      Athens
Israel                        Haifa, Tel Aviv
Italy                          Genoa, Naples, Rome, Venice
Lebanon                  Beirut, Tripoli
Libya                         Benghazi, Khoms, Tripoli
Morocco                  Tangier
Palestine                 Gaza City
Spain                        Barcelona, Cartagena, Valencia.
Syria                          Latakia
Tunisia                     Tunis
Turkey                      Antalya, Mersin

Important Seas

1 . Alboran Sea- between Spain and Morocco.
2 .  Balearic Sea- between mainland Spain and its Balearic Islands.
3 .  Ligurian Sea – between Corsica and Liguria (Italy).
4 .  Tyrrhenian Sea – enclosed by Sardinia, Italian peninsula and Sicily.
5 .  Ionian Sea- between Italy, Albania and Greece.
6 .  Adriatic Sea -between Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.
7 .  Aegean Sea – between Greece and Turkey.


Stromboli Volcano is well known, since ancient times, as the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean” due to its practically continuous activity. It has a characteristic explosive activity.

Others- Lipari , island of Vulcano , Marsili, Vavilov , Magnaghi , Etna , Vesuvius , Pantelleria , Linosa , Montagna Grande , Sicily