Lake Baikal (Russian Ozero Baykal) is located in the southern part of Eastern Siberia, in the Republic of Buryatia and Irkutsk Oblast, between 51°29'~55°46'N latitude and 103°41'~109°57'East longitude. The first deep lake and the largest freshwater lake on the Eurasian continent. UNESCO registered Lake Baikal as a World Natural Heritage in 1996.
Lake Baikal, known as the North Sea in ancient China, is known as the "Pearl of Siberia." It is fed by 336 large and small rivers, such as the largest one, the Selenga River. However, only one river flows out of it, the Angara River.
If no water is added to the lake basin, it will take 400 years for the only Angara River from Lake Baikal to drain the lake. If Lake Baikal dries up completely, it will take more than 300 days to fill it up even if all the rivers in the earth flow into Lake Baikal.
Lake Baikal Introduction
Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake on Earth and its largest freshwater body, containing one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply. Lake Baikal formed about 25 million years ago when the Indian and Eurasian plates collided after a strong earthquake. The Baikal region has been terrestrial for a long time, and Lake Baikal is a fault lake formed during the activity of crustal rifting.
The Baikal tectonic apertures are surrounded by mountains that reach more than 2,500 meters. From a geological point of view, Lake Baikal is a depression in a fault valley, a large rift that reaches a depth of 15 to 20 kilometers underground. The sedimentary strata on the lake floor may be as much as 20,000 feet (6,100 meters) thick. Lake Baikal and its catchment area is a unique global geological system. There are 27 small islands in the lake, which is the home of various species. The largest island is Olkhon Island, which covers an area of 725 square kilometers.
Lake Baikal Size
- Lake Baikal is the most profound continental body of water, having a maximum depth of 5,315 feet (1,620 meters). The lake surface is 455 meters above sea level, and the average water depth is 730 meters.
- Its surface area is about 12,200 square miles (31,500 square km), with a length of 395 miles (636 km) and an average width of 30 miles (48 km).
- It is also the world's largest freshwater lake by volume, with 5,500 cubic miles (23,000 cubic km); the Selenga River supplies more than 50% of the water.
- Into Lake Baikal flow more than 330 rivers, so the catchment area is 557,000 square kilometers.
- The shoreline of Lake Baikal is about 2,000 kilometers long.
- It forms the world's largest lake delta, with an area of nearly 700 square kilometers at the mouth of the lake.
Lake Baikal is an oligotrophic lake with low nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus and relatively small amounts of phytoplankton and other phytoplankton. The lake alternates with the seasons, and the water body in the lake basin will have two major cycles in a year, which is a double-cycle lake. Therefore, the transparency of Lake Baikal's water is as deep as 40.5in, and it is known as "the blue eye of Siberia." The water of Lake Baikal is roughly divided into three layers:
- Underwater 0-50/70 meters is green water, multi-row photosynthetic algae; below 50/70 meters, the watercolor suddenly turns gray, and a wide range of zooplankton appear.
- From 150-500 meters deep, the water becomes clear.
- In the deep water area under 500 meters, common creatures are various fish, shrimp, and worms.
The water level of Lake Baikal shows obvious seasonal changes. The lake surface freezes from January to May every year, and May is the lowest water level. Since June, the temperature has warmed up. The increase in precipitation and the increase in the water volume of the Selenga River have led to an increase in the water level of Lake Baikal, and the highest water level appeared in August. The water level of Lake Baikal exhibits a significant periodic change, with a period of 1 year.
Plant and animal life in the lake is rich and various. There are about 1080 species of plants in the Baikal region, and 33% of the plants of the Polyarihon steppe are rare species. There are 1,500 and 1,800 animal species at different depths, and hundreds of plant species live on or near the surface. 80% of the species are endemic to Baikal. The lake is an important fishing ground in Siberia and has a greater impact on the region's climate.
The long history of the formation of Lake Baikal has created its unique biota; the deep-water endemic species are rich. Because Quaternary glaciers do not cover it, Lake Baikal retains freshwater animals from the Tertiary period, such as Baikal seals, concave whitefish, Omur fish, and sharks.
Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world and the largest freshwater lake in Eurasia. Lake Baikal is a gem on the earth. The Irkutsk minority inhabits this area. The reserves and quality of Lake Baikal water resources are incredible worldwide. It has beautiful scenery and a unique natural landscape along the shore and is rich in species and many ancient creatures. More than 300 medical hot springs have been discovered in the lakeshore area, which is the most mysterious and vast lake Baikal in eastern Russia. The relatively mild climate, beautiful scenery, a large number of natural monuments, fresh air, and excellent ecological environment make Lake Baikal have high tourism potential.