Baikal Irkutsk Trans Siberian

Baikal Geology 

Lake Baikal shape reminds of a crescent with a distance of 636 km (398 mi) from the one end to another. This is equal to the distance between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Lake Baikal occupies a cleft between mountains, the hollow which is really three down dropped blocks. It is a link in a whole chain of rift depressions. The width of the lake is not great from 30 to 80 km (19 to 50 miles) but due to huge depth it contains so much water.

Lake Baikal water body consists of three depressions. The deepest place of Baikal of 1,637 m (1 mile) lies 3 km (1.8 miles) away from the Olkhon Island in the middle depression of the lake. This figure is close to the average oceanic depth. In the southern basin a maximum depth of 1,419m (0.88 miles) is reached. And the northern basin is comparatively shallow. Its depth is only 890 m (0.55 miles).

The age of Lake Baikal is 30-35 million years. The scientists have come to the conclusion that the southern part of the lake was formed earlier than the others. This area is tectonically very active. Thus, Baikal is still a living lake. Tectonic motions here never cease even in our days which results in earthquakes and fluctuations of separate parts of the shores. The ground seismic stations register up to 2,000 earthquake tremors annually.

In 1862, northward of the Selenga’s delta, a portion of land of about 200 sq km (77 sq mi) sank under water at depth of 2 meters (6.5 ft) as a result of an earthquake. This bay on Baikal is called Proval (abyss). Old people living in this area say that five Buryat villages with 1,200 population and 17,000 head of cattle perished that night. In 1959 another earthquake with the epicenter in the middle basin displaced the bottom of the lake for 12-20 meters (39-66 ft).

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