The Caspian is much more than “Mud Volcanoes.”

Mud Volcanoes – are they real? This debate sparked across social media platforms the same day America celebrated its birthday this year on July 4th, 2021. Miles eastward, an explosion took place about ten km from the Umid gas field located in the Azeri region of the Caspian Sea. The debate that whether or not it was a mud volcano or simply some hydrocarbon exploration-induced eruption is yet to be settled, but it begs to bring attention to an even greater topic – the Caspian Sea itself.

Our book is just that. We aim to bring a comprehensive understanding of how the world’s largest inland body of salty water escaped economic and political notice for so long. The Caspian Basin is an underexplored topic with scarce literature on its geomorphology, legal disputes, pipeline diplomacy, energy deposits, and environmental concerns. Dr. Anis, Mak and I take a comprehensive approach in presenting an all-encompassing study on this unique geographical region. Readers will not only acquire basic knowledge of how Caspian states and other foreign actors interact, but also learn about related issues in the greater Eurasian/global environment, including territorial concerns, environmental issues, pipeline politics, energy reserves, and so on.

So perhaps next time when one hears of mud volcanoes, they may have to rummage science shelves, but not so when it comes to the Caspian. Endorsed by international dignitaries and scholars alike, this is a terrific read for all.