Baikal World - lake Baikal underwater relief
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Explanation of the local terms and geographical names at lake Baikal
Underwater Relief & Bottom Configuration

Baikal Underwater Relief The Baikal basin, as an orographic unit, represents a rather complicated formation on the earth's surface. It has been formed during long geological period. The analysis of underwater relief shows that the process of formation is not completed.

The Baikal basin, enormous in extent and depth, from the morphological viewpoint, represents a junction of three original troughs, more deeper South and Middle
troughs and relatively shallow North trough. The troughs are divided by a prominent elevations of the bottom, the intradepressional uplifts.

The scientists indicate that unlike southern Baikal, where there is no connection between land and underwater reliefs, the most of underwater structures of North Baikal in western and eastern coast are distinctly of superficial origin. They held their shape under water. The latest bathymetric data show that the Baikal basin is cut by a continuous elevation of the bottom from the Olkhon island through the Ushkany islands and farther to the northeast. This is the Academic ridge.

In 1977 the Limnological Institute together with the Institute of Oceanology, USSR Academy of Sciences, carried out deep-sea visual studies of underwater relief, using the "Pisces" an apparatus of autonomous plunge and underwater sailing. In southern trough of the lake 42 submersions were carried out, among them 5 to the depth of more than 1000 m. At this period the record depth of submersion of a man in fresh reservoirs, 1410 m, was reached.

Baikal Shelf
Slopping piedmont plain (abrasion shelf) covering an area from the shoreline to depths of 10 - 12 m: 60%
Shelf discontinuity to the deepwater slope (batial) at the depth of 20 - 300 m.

Deep-water slopes
Average angle of bottom slopes of northwestern shore: 30 - 65
Dipping of underwater eastern slope of Olkhon island: > 45
Length of the Selenga River delta: > 60 km
Amplitude of the bottom warping in the area of Selenga river delta: > 6000 m
Underwater extension of Selenga delta: up to 10 km
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