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Sea, northern Europe. An arm of the Atlantic Ocean, connecting with the North Sea, it is about 1,000 mi (1,600 km) long, covers an area of about 149,000 sq mi (386,000 sq km), and has a maximum depth of about 1,500 ft (450 m). It receives the Vistula and Oder rivers and many other rivers. It is enclosed by Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, and Russia. It has two large arms, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland. The modifying effect of the North Atlantic Current is scarcely felt; its waters contain only about one-fourth as much salt as the oceans, and it freezes readily.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Baltic Sea, visit Britannica.com.