Inland sea (geology)

For other uses, see Inland Sea.

An inland sea (also known as an epeiric sea or an epicontinental sea) is a shallow sea that covers central areas of continents during periods of high sea level that result in marine transgressions. In modern times, continents stand high, eustatic sea levels are low, and there are few inland seas, none larger than the Caspian Sea. Modern examples might also include the recently (less than 10,000 years ago) reflooded Persian Gulf, and the South China Sea that presently covers the Sunda Shelf.[1]


This 1830 map of Australia depicts a 'Great River' and a 'Supposed Sea' that both proved nonexistent.

At various times in the geologic past, inland seas have been greater in extent and more common than at present.

See also


  1. The Lord Howe Rise that covers much of the sunken "continent" of Zealandia and the largely submerged Mascarene Plateau that includes the Granitic Group islands of the Seychelles could not be considered "inland"
  2. "Peru finds giant crocodile fossil in Amazon". Daily Times. September 12, 2005.
  3. Cathcart, Michael (2009). The Water Dreamers: How Water and Silence Shaped Australia. Melbourne: Text Publishing. chapter 7. ISBN 9781921520648.
  4. Baltic Sea Portal
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