Lake Baikal



LAKE BAIKAL is in a “rift valley”, created by the Baikal Rift Zone, where the earth’s crust is slowly pulling apart.  At 636km long and 79km wide, Lake Baikal has the largest surface area of any freshwater lake and is the deepest lake in the world at 5,387ft.  The bottom of the lake is 3,893ft below sea level, but below this lies some &km of sediment, placing the “rift floor” some 8-11km below the surface ——– the deepest Continental rift on earth.

It is also among the clearest of all lakes, and thought to be the world’s oldest lake at 25million years.  It contains more water than all the Great Lakes combined.  Like Lake Tanganyika, Lake Baikal was formed as an ancient rift valley, having the typical long crescent shape.  In geological terms, the rift is young and active– it widens about 2cm per year.  The “fault zone” is also…

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