Baikal: the deepest mysteries of the deepest lake in the world

Nature 04/01/20 PixabayБайкал: mysteries of the deepest lake in the world

the Fundamental Soviet Geology believed that the lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world. It was formed around 30-23 million years ago, around the border of the periods, the Paleogene and Neogene, and fully filled with water a million years ago.

Lake old, but the process continue?

Scientists believe that the rift the rift, which is a lake appeared in the result of the pressure of the huge Continental platforms in the Eurasian platform. The movement of the Indian subcontinent to the North appeared the world’s highest mountains – the Himalayas, which continue to grow a few inches every year, and there were a few faults, one of which was filled with water (it is believed that most of it was water melted glacier) – and formed the lake.

Geological processes in the Baikal continues today: on the banks of the lake and its bottom every year there are dozens of earthquakes, sometimes up to 9-10 points, lake shores diverge at a speed of 2-3 cm per year, is at the bottom of lake Baikal active mud volcanoes, mineral springs, springs of hot water, and on the shores and in the Sayans, ongoing volcanic activity.

Lake Baikal is not only the brainchild of formed rift faults in the same fault (or rather, in continuation) on the territory of Mongolia is lake–the brother of Baikal – Hovsgol.

the Lake is in no hurry to die

Age of lake Baikal identified by Soviet geologists, also makes it unique, since for the most part of the lake formed by melting glaciers, so long to live. Usually they are quite small, zavolakivaya quickly and within a few thousand years disappear, leaving the place of occurrence of swamps or peat deposits.

However, with the Baikal this somehow
not happening

the Reason for this was long considered the impressive size ozEPA (in length it reaches 630 km and the width varies from 25 to 73 km), its depth, which in the eighties of the XX century was determined in 1 643 meters, and a huge catchment area stretching back 336 permanent rivers and streams, and in wet years there are more than thousand.

the antiquity of the lake indicate a sediment in the channels of rivers flowing into it and deposits on the bottom of lake Baikal, which in some places reach tens of meters.

But is it old?

But doubts about the ancient origin of the lake has always existed. First, because the stratigraphy – the science is pretty relative, operating over millions of years, and secondly, no one knows exactly what happened many years ago, and one can only assume that things were so and not otherwise, thirdly, the ancient age of Baikal is denied tales of the local people – the Buryats and Evenks, whose myths were directly related to geological processes occurring in the lake.

for Example, the Buryat elders knew exactly where the deepest point of lake Baikal (near the Eastern shore of Olkhon island) – that it was related to the sacred place of shamans, and in the deepest place of the lake was located the entrance to the world of the dead.

tales of the Buryat warriors claim that they could jump on their giant horses to the lake in two, and the twenty-first century scientists found in the middle of lake Baikal shallows covered by water, which obviously were once Islands. And even the name of lake Baikal, the Buryat Baigal be translated as “Great lights”, that could also indicate that people who lived in this area many years ago, could be the involuntary witnesses of the occurrence: they were able to see volcanic activity and flare methane gas, deposits of which only in this century, found at the bottom of the sacred lake.

“Worlds” allowed to look at the lake new

to Reconsider their views on the age of lake scientists made and the results of the expeditions during which the Baikal was immersed GLupakovochnye the vehicle: they were able to measure the exact depth of the lake, which amounted to 1 634 meters, and found that the underwater lake Baikal continue under water a series of terraces, and this suggests that the depth of the lake was much smaller and was periodically changed.

But most importantly, the geologists found that folded marble and metabasite the shores of the lake look almost the same as they would look if I was on the surface: the processes of water erosion on them is almost not affected. This has led to the conclusion that the lake only a few thousand years.

the Theory Tatarinov

the Conductor of this idea was the employee of the Geological Institute of the SB RAS Alexander Tatarinov, who believes that the lake itself is about 8 000 years, and the deep-water part of lake Baikal (deeper than 1 100 m) was filled with water earlier and was formed about 150 000 years ago.

the Scientist put forward the hypothesis that the appearance of the lake was approximately the same as the formation of Goose lake in Buryatiya: the first Baikal was a chain of swamps, and then there was the rift the rift, which began to fill with water.

And Tatarinov believes that a large part of almost distilled, crystal clear and oxygen-rich water in the lake came not from rivers flowing into the lake surrounding the mountains, and the inside of the earth where it was formed by oxidation of hydrogen, that is, the water came from below.

This theory, by the way, it is not contrary to the fundamental science on which rift rift really could be formed 25 million years ago at the turn of the Paleogene and Neogene.

as for the bottom sediments at the mouths of rivers and on the lake bottom, then Tatarinov believes that a large contribution to their development could include mud volcanoes, which are both in the lake and on its shores and in the small lakes surrounding it, for example, in lake Kotokelskoye where periodic emission of a mud volcano provoke a mass pestilence of fish. The same processes they provoke and at the bottom of lake Baikal. Progresivsis the water from the underwater mud volcano “St. Petersburg”, the scientists found that bottom sediments contain large quantities of fish died from poisoning gases.

Thus it may be that the bed of lake Baikal is really formed many millions of years ago, the deepest part was completed much later, and the filling the bowl of the lake water could be seen by the people living on its banks only a few thousand years ago. Incidentally, the oldest cave paintings date back to the fourth Millennium BC, which could mean that people came to the shores of the lake at the time when he began to be filled.

Maya Novik

© Russian Seven

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